Web services provider Yahoo! announced in December 2016 that it had discovered a huge data hack, which compromised more than 1 billion user accounts. And this wasn’t the first time it happened. Two years before this, the company also fell victim to a data breach.
All pointed their fingers at the billion-dollar company, and while Yahoo! was taking all the blame, not many questioned the online behavior of its users.
Over the years, news of data breaches would hit the headlines, but how have this affected people? Has people’s password behavior changed? Have we become more vigilant? Have our passwords become more secure?
The Dangers of Reusing The Same Passwords
According to a new survey conducted by LastPass, 91% of 2,000 individuals understand the risk of reusing the same passwords, but a staggering 59% still stick to one password they like. Additionally, 64% say that they prefer passwords that are easy to remember, due to the fear of being locked and forgetting one’s login information. Among these individuals, only 29% of them change their passwords regularly.
The numbers speak for themselves. Admittedly, we are all creatures of habit and our brains are somewhat over-saturated. Our lives are busy enough on their own, and the task of remembering different passwords seem to add to our list of endless chores.
We’re Helping Hackers Win
This poor password behavior is the reason why hackers can easily take advantage of unknowing victims. According to LastPass, neglect is the number one reason for data breaches, not just on the part of companies hosting our accounts, but on users’ side as well.
Previous studies have also revealed that this lazy attitude when it comes to managing passwords is the reason why most people are prone to online attacks. Surprisingly, a lot of people still use easily guessable passwords, which has resulted in countless account compromises and takeovers.
A huge cause for concern is the fact that people are aware of cyber attacks, but they still haven’t increased their efforts in protecting their online accounts. While users are partly to blame, organizations and enterprises need to improve their security policies as well.
First and foremost, no organization should ever allow a user to use a weak password. While there is awareness, they need to educate their users even further about the danger posed by weak passwords. The truth is that each password is a gateway to avail the services or features of a certain website, and it is the duty of the organization to regularly relay information of the importance of passwords and how crucial it is to use strong ones, and change them regularly.
Avoiding Password Reuse
Indeed, it is tiresome to generate a different password for each online account, and the idea of remembering each one of them seems like an impossible feat. However, there is a way to avoid having to use the same password over and over again.
Get a Password Management App
Many password management apps are available, so use one for your convenience. This type of app is fairly easy to set up — you can either store your login-password combo or allow the app to generate a strong password for you. A password management app can also make sure that no password is the same.
Always Log Off
We’re used to letting our browser save our login information, but this is a habit that you must break. To ensure safety and security. Always log off your mobile device or computer before leaving it unattended. Additionally, make sure your device always has updated security software to detect and eradicate malware and keyloggers.