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Poor passwords still posing problems for online security

09 September 2015 - 11:38 by Graham Miller

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People who want to use online services safely are still putting themselves at risk of exploitation as a result of using weak passwords, according to the Telegraph.

Industry expert, Jonathan Sander, has spoken out about the problem as the anniversary of the major iCloud photo leak approaches - an event which saw private photos of some of the world’s most famous celebrities being posted en masse online.

Sander did say that in some ways, the scandal has led to greater public awareness of the need to improve the strength of passwords, although there are also issues with mixed messages being delivered, so that members of the public are unsure of which approaches are the most secure.

People who regularly carry out safe shopping online, for example, are increasingly aware of the need to use multiple passwords across different sites, rather than sticking with the same phrase for every account they operate. Harnessing passwords that are hard to guess, such as by using random strings of letters and numbers, rather than familiar phrases based on personal information, is also more common today.

Meanwhile, consumers are being asked to trust a greater number of organisations with their private data, with the growth of cloud computing meaning that more info is stored remotely. This has led to an increase in the threats posed to online security in the past 12 months, even in the wake of the iCloud leak.

Security strategist, Ben Johnson, did say that companies like Amazon, which is not only responsible for offering safe shopping online but is also one of the world’s biggest cloud providers, will be doing more to tackle the threats their services face. But since password strength is the lynchpin of many security systems, users cannot afford to be complacent.