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Online account compromise

IT users are in denial about their online security, it is claimed, as half of consumers are said to use the same password across multiple websites.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents (72pc) believe that they’ve never had the security of their online accounts compromised. Those surveyed also over-estimate the difficulty of their passwords. Nearly 80pc believed that their passwords were difficult for others to guess. This is especially alarming as the top three passwords of 2014 were surveyed to be “123456”, “password” and “12345”.

In response to companies enforcing stricter guidelines on password creation, more than half of respondents (63pc) found it difficult to remember all their online passwords. The ways respondents used to remember their passwords include:

· Writing them down in a notebook

· Entering passwords as a contact in their mobile phone

· Using an online password manager

· Keeping passwords listed in an Excel spreadsheet

· Writing passwords on a sticky note taped to the computer monitor or keyboard

Some respondents admitted to risky password habits. Three in ten (31pc) have shared their passwords to personal online accounts with other people. Half (49pc) noted that they use the same password across multiple websites, putting multiple online access points at risk if one is ever breached. The research for the IT security product company Ping Identity was by YouGov. Some 2235 consumers were surveyed in January 2015

Jason Goode, Managing Director – EMEA, at Ping Identity, said: “By now organisations should be aware that passwords are passé when it comes to effectively protecting their customers’ data and identities. These findings show that consumers are their own worst enemy online and organisations needs to be more vigilant in protecting their customers not only from hackers, but also from themselves. Organisations are essentially relying on an archaic practice to keep data safe. By deploying systems that centre on a consumer’s identity, organisations can ensure that their employees and customers don’t fall victim to risky password habits and human error.” Visit pingidentity.com.


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