A recent ComputerWorld article entitled Researchers: Poor password practices hurt security for all reports that a study of 150 password-protected websites revealed that most individuals have so many passwords to remember that it’s harming the security of others. They explain that because of the large number of passwords to remember; individuals form easy to remember passwords…read weak passwords here, and then use the same password for all the sites they access. This means this weak password is used on less critical as well as highly critical sites. Thus lowering the protection of all the sites they access, more especially the highly critical ones. This increases the probability these sites will get infected by malware, the rest of us access the site…
This article reminded me of a very recent post Should You Forget About Password Safes and Write Down Your Passwords? by Bill Mullins on his blog where he discusses the use of software-based password management tools versus using offline, more manual methods. Both articles are good reads on this most important subject.
The results of the password-use study are not exactly a revelation to most of us, except that there is now empirical evidence, that most folks use the same weak passwords for all their access needs regardless of the criticality of the site they’re accessing. [big sigh]…I just wonder when the users of the Internet are going to start taking personal responsibility for their poor choices…choices that affect all of us in one way or another.
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