Much of our personal and business lives are moving online. Access from anywhere is great but security is, and should be, a concern. Most systems (i.e. a computer or online applications) now require a username and password. Not just any old “passw0rd” but a SECURE one. Yeah, you know that user. Applications are figuring out how to enforce better security practices. Passwords are now tested to make sure they are long enough, weird enough, not in a dictionary, don't include real words, but do include numbers and punctuation. For added beauty, some systems even remember all the passwords I’ve ever used to ensure I don't ever recycle them. Oh, and to make absolutely, positively sure, you may even be forced to change them every few weeks.
This gives a wonderful sense of security, since you are forcing ever changing passwords to be extremely long, utterly complex combinations of case sensitive letters, numbers and symbols that don't contain any words. Even automated brute force methods of guessing will take eons to break into the system. That’s great, right?
It is a disgrace that humans haven’t still got the hang of setting passwords. It seems as though that most internet users have inextricably tethered themselves to a promise of not setting strong-enough passwords, which may force hackers to reconsider their choice of profession for its grueling nature. As you devour more of this story, you will begin to envy hackers for having it stroll-in-the-park easy.
A new study has revealed – rather reiterated - that internet users nonchalantly continue to set unimaginative, fatuous passwords. The study appraised 28,000 passwords that were recently stolen from a U.S website.
Sixteen percent of the users had set their first name as their password. Around fourteen percent chose easiest to recall key combinations, including “1234” and “12345678”. Other users, who apparently don’t rate their mathematical ability highly, chose to steer clear of numbers and settled for passwords such as “AZERTY” and “QWERTY”.
Five percent of the passwords were found to be inspired by popular things and celebrities, including names of movies, TV shows and actors. The strongest password in this category was found to be “Ironman” as it sounds impenetrable.
Three percent of the people reckon passwords are another medium of expression. How else would you explain passwords like “Iloveyou” and “Ihateyou?”