When Employees Reuse Their Passwords...
More Than Half of Your Employees Are Most Likely Reusing Passwords Across Their Business and Personal Accounts.
We are all plagued with password issues; creating them, remembering them and routinely changing them. And the problem is only getting worse, according to a 2018 Virginia Tech study of more than 100 million passwords and their owners.
Most security experts will agree that passwords are actually causing the most harm on the internet. The average individual has about 150 online accounts protected by passwords, Dashlane reported in 2017 and if you ask most people, they'd say they are genuinely plagued by passwords. That's the conclusion of the Virginia Tech study that looked at 28.8 million users and their 61.5 million passwords in 107 services over 8 years.
"The password study found that slightly more than half of all users reused passwords, or used slight modifications of passwords across a range of accounts. Password reuse, considered a major "no-no" by security experts, is considered a major factor in easy-to-hack user authentication schemes
The news actually gets worse from that bad beginning. The passwords in use were so weak that more than 16 million password pairs (30% of the modified passwords and all the reused passwords) can be cracked within just 10 guesses. And there's worse to come: accounts dealing with sensitive data, from financial records to email, were more likely to receive repeated and reused passwords than less critical sites." (Read more at Darkreading)
Here are some methods your employees can take to ensure passwords are secure in their day-to-day online time:
- Be sure no one is watching you enter your password
- Never share your password with others
- Always log off your computer or mobile device before leaving it unattended
- Use security software on your computer at all times
- Don't log into your personal accounts on shared computers or unsecured networks
- When using an unsecured wifi network, use a VPN app to secure your connection
- Change your passwords regularly
- Create strong passwords which include numbers and symbols
- Consider using phrases versus words and names when making with new passwords
Whether a password policy is in place or not, your business needs to create a security culture where employees are aware of how reusing passwords adds risk to your business. Educate everyone about password differentiation, complexity, and safeguarding. Contact us if you'd like more information about keeping your organization secure.