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Frivolous Passwords Remain Popular

Symantec : 30 March, 2010  (Technical Article)
Symantec survey shows that poor password choice and security remains a problem for a significant number of internet users
Symantec recently polled 400 respondents on password security and made some interesting discoveries.

The poll found that:

* Nearly a quarter of correspondents (23%) use their browser to keep track of their passwords
* 60% don't change their passwords regularly
* 25% of people have given their passwords to their spouse; 1 in 10 people have given their password to a 'friend'
* 10% use their pets name as their password, making it highly easy to guess given the growth of social networking
* Worryingly, 3% admit using the word 'password' as their password

Kevin Haley from Symantec, comments: "Now, I don't doubt that 3 per cent of us have accounts where 'password' is the password, but people, why on earth would you admit it? Thanks for your honesty, but shame on you for doing it. For the rest of you that are still using middle names, birth dates and pet names, what are you thinking? Security by obscurity? That no one but your friends and family could possibly know your pet's name? Well, if you use a social networking site, I bet it can be figured out in less than 20 minutes."
So how do you make passwords easy to remember yet hard to crack? Symantec advises:

• Use a mix of numbers, letters, punctuation, and symbols
• Take a word or phrase that's meaningful to you and alter it
• Replace the first few characters in your password with numbers or symbols
• The longer the better
• Avoid personal information, repetition and sequences
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