Consumers reminded to avoid common passwords
20 January 2017 - 09:36 by David Aiken
Regular reports delve into the world of password protection and create a damning look at just how regularly the same choices are made by people attempting to protect their online accounts.
The latest study of this area was conducted by Keeper Security and involved analysis of around 10 million accounts which had been compromised by hackers in the past year, according to the Register.
Of this number, almost a fifth had been secured using the password ‘123456’ which could, of course, be guessed by almost anyone in a matter of seconds and is likely to be the first thing that cybercriminals attempt when carrying out a breach.
It is not just the simple progression of this password that makes it weak, but also its length. At six characters, it will not take long for brute force attacks to guess passwords even if the numbers, letters and symbols they contain are chosen at random.
The report’s authors pointed out that another problematic point uncovered by their investigations is that the most common passwords found online have remained roughly the same for several years, indicating that user habits are not improving in this respect.
Anyone who wishes to carry out safe shopping online with a mainstream retailer is advised not only to pick a long, entirely random password for their account, but also to use a different password for each and every site they access.
Using the same password in multiple instances means that if one service is compromised, the others will fall like dominos.
Retailers do their best to make sure that their customers can carry out safe shopping online in a secure e-commerce ecosystem. But users are still responsible for doing their bit to bolster protection and getting rid of weak passwords is the first step.