How To Internet

More proof that you suck at choosing passwords

Password Reminder Notebook
Password Reminder Notebook

It seems to be one of those regular “create a public panic” news event.  “OMG!  Look at how silly people are with their passwords!”

Except this time, the people being silly about their passwords are kids.  And with kids, it really is a good time to teach kids THE IMPORTANCE OF SELECTING A GOOD PASSWORD, because it ends up that kids really don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to protecting their personal online spaces.

The survey found that: 

  • 40% of the respondants have shared their password with someone else in the past year.
  • About 40% also use the same password on all websites.  So if someone hacks one account, they then have access to all other accounts that use that password
  • About 50% of those surveyed don’t do anything funky with their password characters — such as using punctuation — that could make their passwords harder to crack.
  • 20% use special dates or their pet’s name as their password.  Both of these are generally publically available on social sites like Facebook, making it easier for nefarious people to guess your login.
  • 47% of Facebook users use their Facebook password on other accounts
  • 62% of Facebook users never change their password on a regular basis

When the data was filtered to just younger users, the results were a bit more alarming:

  • 12% have shared a password in a text message.  Text messages are unsecure and could be intercepted by anyone looking for such things.
  • 30% have logged onto a site requiring a password over public WIFI.  And if you haven’t seen the news reports of criminals hanging out in Starbucks and analyzing WIFI data to grab banking or other information, you’ll be well advised not to do anything on a public Internet access point that you wouldn’t want seen in public.

So what should you do? 

Obviously, the two most important things are to (A) never share your password with anyone; and (B) use a unique password on every website that requires one.

Web Watch compiled some PASSWORD SAFETY TIPS for you a while back.  It’s probably a good time to revisit that list and be sure that you’re following some good basic password security on your own.