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Password overload

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Sunday July 6, 2008 )

Sometimes I feel I spend the bulk of my days retrieving and entering passwords. Still, it’s a necessary evil. A recent survey shows I’m certainly not alone in experiencing password overload.

According to a Siber Systems survey of over 600 IT professionals, over half of all respondents said the average employee in their company needs to remember three to five passwords, with another 26% stating the number ranges from six to ten and above.

49% stated employees need use passwords over 25 times per week, with 8% saying the number of password uses was in excess of 100 times per week.

The problem with needing to remember so many passwords is that people get careless in their password management – the survey also found that 66% of respondents stated employees store passwords insecurely.

It was my experience when working in IT services that people would often use the same password for many services, or predictable passwords such as a dictionary word, a child’s or pet’s name, birth date or even use the word “password” thinking they were being rather clever :). All these are a hacker’s dream.

Additionally, length of passwords is a real issue. A long password combining numbers and letters is a great way to thwart hackers. I published an article some time ago on password length and recovery statistics which contains some rather frightening information on just how fast a nefarious individual can crack shorter passwords and the difference adding a few characters can make.

If you’re looking for a better way to manage your passwords, consider RoboForm – it’s a free password manager download (spyware free of course), uses AES, Blowfish, RC6, 3-DES or 1-DES encryption algorithms and has won many awards over the years.


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