Brits are fed up with online passwords with more than three in four hoping they will be replaced with something better in the future, Google study reveals

  • Researchers found that 80 per cent of people felt negatively about passwords
  • People’s second biggest annoyance is being locked out of online accounts
  • The biggest annoyance was losing their keys and being locked out of their house
  • More than 40 per cent said they had used the same password for five years 

Are you left feeling annoyed when a website says ‘please change your password’ or ‘sorry that password doesn’t meet our requirement’? You’re not alone, a new Google study found 80 per cent of British people felt negatively about passwords.  

The study found that being locked out of an online account is the second biggest daily frustration for people, just behind losing their keys.

Over three-quarters of British people told researchers they ‘hope passwords become outdated in the near future’ and are replaced by something easier.

The study found that being locked out of an online account is the second biggest daily frustration for people, just behind losing their keys.  (stock image)

The study found that being locked out of an online account is the second biggest daily frustration for people, just behind losing their keys.  (stock image)

‘This frustration can lead to bad password practices like using a weak password or using the same password across different accounts’, says Elijah Lawal from Google.

Of the Brits surveyed by Google, a fifth said they haven’t thought about their passwords in the last year and 43 per cent admitted to using the same password for more than five years. 

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Despite the potential inconvenience, cyber experts recommend keeping a unique password for every account held in order to boost security.

This means that if one account is hacked, criminals will be hindered from gaining access to other information.

Of the Brits surveyed by Google, a fifth said they haven't thought about their passwords in the last year and 43 per cent admitted to using the same password for more than five years. (stock image)

Of the Brits surveyed by Google, a fifth said they haven’t thought about their passwords in the last year and 43 per cent admitted to using the same password for more than five years. (stock image)

The Government-backed Get Safe Online service says a safe password can be created by choosing three random words, and adding numbers and punctuation marks.

It also advises people to think of memorable phrases that hackers will not associate with them, then combine the first letter of each word in the sequence.

In order to increase online safety, people should also avoid using obvious personal information in their passwords.   

Despite the potential inconvenience, cyber experts recommend keeping a unique password for every account held in order to boost security. (stock image)

Despite the potential inconvenience, cyber experts recommend keeping a unique password for every account held in order to boost security. (stock image)

The research did find that British people are particularly good at using technology to help keep their passwords secure – rather than have to try and remember them.

Just over half of Brits surveyed said they were aware that password management tools existed with 37 per cent stored their passwords digitally.

Mr Lawal said: ‘Given such levels of frustrations around passwords, such tools can provide a huge confidence boost to British consumers about their online safety.’ 

However, nearly a quarter of people said they still keep passwords on post-it-notes.  

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In 2018 password, qwerty and 123456 were the most easily guessed passwords and were used by millions of people, according to GCHQ. 

The research found British people are particularly good at using technology to help keep their passwords secure - rather than have to try and remember them. (stock image)

The research found British people are particularly good at using technology to help keep their passwords secure – rather than have to try and remember them. (stock image)

HOW TO CHECK IF YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IS COMPROMISED

Have I Been Pwned?

Cybersecurity expert and Microsoft regional director Tory Hunt runs ‘Have I Been Pwned’.

The website lets you check whether your email has been compromised as part of any of the data breaches that have happened. 

If your email address pops up you should change your password.

Pwned Passwords

To check if your password may have been exposed in a previous data breach, go to the site’s homepage and enter your email address.

The search tool will check it against the details of historical data breaches that made this information publicly visible. 

If your password does pop up, you’re likely at a greater risk of being exposed to hack attacks, fraud and other cybercrimes.

Mr Hunt built the site to help people check whether or not the password they’d like to use was on a list of known breached passwords. 

The site does not store your password next to any personally identifiable data and every password is encrypted

Other Safety Tips

Hunt provides three easy-to-follow steps for better online security. First, he recommends using a password manager, such as 1Password, to create and save unique passwords for each service you use. 

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Next, enable two-factor authentication. Lastly, keep abreast of any breaches



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