Survey finds Americans are weak on managing their passwords

• Americans love passwords containing birthdays, pet names or simple strings
• One in ten uses a master key for all of their data on the internet

A representative survey released by today found that many American internet users handle their passwords negligently. One third (33 percent) say they use birthdays, pet names or simple strings like “123456” or “qwerty” as passwords. These are easy to remember, but for online criminals they are also just as easy to guess or crack.

In order to protect from online criminals, strong passwords should be chosen. These consist of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, punctuation marks and special characters. However, only 33 percent of Americans surveyed use all of these components for their passwords. To increase the security of passwords, they should also be changed regularly. One in ten (9 percent) ignores this advice completely and never change their passwords. The good news is that 38 percent of Americans alter their passwords on an average of every six months.

One in five (19 percent) uses the same password for most or even all of their internet services. These users run the risk of losing the master key for all their data on the Internet, once this password has been spied out by internet criminals. Ideally each service should be protected with an individual password. Only 23 percent of American internet users adhere to this security measure.

The number of internet services requiring registration has increased sharply in recent years. How do internet users remember so many passwords? 58 percent rely on their memory and store access codes only in their heads. 15 percent simply write their passwords on pieces of paper. 5 percent save passwords in their browser and 9 percent use password managing software.
For more information on online security go here.