The wrong way to use passwords

Passwords have been around since the early days — in 200 B.C., the Romans used them on a day-to-day basis to organize and manage actions of military units. With the

Passwords have been around since the early days — in 200 B.C., the Romans used them on a day-to-day basis to organize and manage actions of military units.

With the evolution to the digital age, everybody and their dog has a password or two, but with that said, this protective measure becomes very unreliable and insecure when people use passwords improperly.

Kaspersky Lab analysed how users protect their online accounts in a recent research study. It turns out that, almost one third of those surveyed have two or three similar passwords for ALL of their accounts. Additionally, one in seven respondents uses ONE password for all of their accounts.  Pretty shocking stuff, all things considered.

Aside from the quantity issue, there is also a problem with the quality of combinations used in passwords. One in 10 of the respondents had passwords that are less than eight characters in length. On top of that, some of those questioned (12%) don’t use capital letters, figures and/or special characters to improve their passwords. Such combinations are not secure at all.

Bad, right? But wait, there’s more! Only a few memorise their passwords. More than a half of respondents store them on a piece of paper, on their phones or in text files on their computers. Approximately a third of users surveyed save passwords in the browser to benefit from quick login feature.

Please, remember: if you use one password for all of your accounts, criminals only need to hack one of them in order to expose every other account you own.

Perhaps the scariest thing uncovered by the survey is lack of awareness in regards to safety. A quarter of respondents believe that they are safe, as they keep nothing important on their devices. Unfortunately, culprits do not only hunt for corporate data or government secrets: passwords and logins of every user are in themselves a favorite target of cybercriminals. Depending on their skills, culprits will find a way to use stolen login credentials: for example, they can hack your Internet bank or just use your Facebook account to spread viruses and spam.

Even if you still don’t worry about yourself, it’s time to understand that your weak password can put at risk your friends, relatives, colleagues, business partners and so on. Here are three simple rules, which you should take into account.

● The myth that it’s hard to invent and remember reliable password is just that: a myth.  There are some methods, which help to invent and memorise several unique passwords at once.

● You need to pay special attention to the safety of your main email address, as the access to other accounts you can recover with the help of email notifications. You can secure your email with the help of two-factor authentication technology.

● Do not store your passwords on a piece of paper, on your hard drive or any other device. It’s not secure. Memorize them.

If you’re short on time and can’t spend much time remembering new passwords, consider using specialised software like a password manager.  Kaspersky Password Manager is already built into the Kaspersky Total Security solution. It can also be used as a standalone service as well. This component was developed to help users easily and securely log into social networks, email accounts, internet shops and other web resources.

Kaspersky Password Manager creates reliable combinations, remembers them and automatically inserts passwords each time when you need to log into this or that service and it works on all major OS’s (PC, MAC, Android).