With hacking and cybercrime featuring regularly in the news you think that people would understand the importance of using a secure password.
But a new report has revealed that men are three times more likely to use the word ‘password’ to secure their online accounts than women.
The same report also found that almost 25 percent of people use the same password to secure all of their online accounts.
According to the study, which was conducted by IT consultancy firm EPC Group, people are still making the same mistakes when it comes to choosing an online password.
The study asked 600 people various questions about their approach to online security, including if they re-used passwords.
The survey found that only 14 percent of people use a different password on each site and that woman were more likely to use their lover’s name as a password than men. However, men were 2.8 times more likely to use ‘password’ as their actual password, CNet reported.
A staggering 44 percent said they used the same password on more than one site.
Whether it’s laziness, stupidity or a lack of knowledge of even basic online security, re-using passwords unnecessarily puts you at risk because if one of your accounts is compromised, you’re potentially handing over the login details to multiple online accounts.
How to choose a secure password
Where we’d once been told that the most secure passwords are ones that contained a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters, and which preferably you’d change every 90 days, the guidelines for creating a strong password have recently changed.
The problem with this old method of creating a password is that it often results in people using the same predictable passwords that end up being quite easy to guess.
For example, ‘pa55word!’ follows the old guidelines but actually isn’t very secure.
People would also choose passwords that included the name of their pet or children with the year they were born, which also isn’t very secure.
Use a passphrase
Instead, users should now opt for a passphrase that contains at least three random unrelated words, such as ‘coffeebluewallpaper’. The benefit of choosing a passphrase is that it is fairly easy to remember but almost impossible for someone to guess. If you add some random numbers at the end, it makes it even more secure.
It is also recommended to use a password manager to manage your online login credentials.