Making news

People facing online password dilemma

With their growing dependency on online accounts, people are increasingly facing a dilemma – how to choose strong passwords to protect themselves and their data.

Some end up using strong and different passwords for every single account, but risk forgetting their passwords in the process.

Others choose memorable passwords that make life easier, but also play right into cybercriminals’ hands, a study by Kaspersky Lab has found.

According to the study, many consumers understand the need for strong passwords to their accounts. When asked which three of their online accounts required the strongest passwords, 63 percent of respondents plumped for online banking accounts, 42 percent for payment applications including e-wallets, and 41 percent for online shopping.

However, the difficulty of remembering several of these strong passwords means people are likely to forget them and get locked out of their accounts.

Two in five (38 percent) people cannot quickly restore passwords after losing them. This could lead to feelings of frustration or stress if they cannot carry on their normal activities as a result.

When it comes to password storage, half (51 percent) store passwords insecurely, with a quarter (23 percent) writing them on a notepad so that they do not have to remember them, which also puts their security at risk.

And to avoid the frustration of having to remember long passwords, some people are developing other insecure password habits instead. For example, 10 percent use just one password for all accounts, allowing them to live their online lives seamlessly, without ever struggling to remember how to login to anything.

That is until a cybercriminal gets hold of that one key password and unlocks everything for themselves.

Indeed, 17 percent of the consumers surveyed by Kaspersky Lab have faced the threat of, or successfully had, an online account hacked in the past 12 months.

Emails are the most targeted accounts (41 percent), closely followed by social media (37 percent), banking accounts (18 percent) and shopping accounts (18 percent).

To help consumers regain control over their sprawling online identities, Kaspersky Password Manager stores all of a user’s passwords in a secure vault.

They only need to remember one master password to access all of their accounts.