SecuritySecurity Management

Kaspersky: Don’t Get Caught With Your Pants Down – Change Your Passwords!

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Survey finds many of us would rather reveal passwords than go commando

A pan-European survey by Kaspersky found that nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of Europeans would rather reveal their online passwords than go without underwear.

Overall, just under half (44 percent) of respondents say they have shared their passwords with colleagues, family or friends, with a significant number happy to do so again. This compares to a mere one in four (26 percent) who would be willing to share their underwear with another person.

Keep your pants on

passwordsThe study surveyed a thousand people across seven countries in Europe, including the UK, with Kaspersky saying it hopes to remind consumers that passwords are a lot like underwear, in that they should be changed regularly.

This is despite the fact that only around half of those surveyed change their passwords twice a year or more, while an overwhelming 87 percent say that they changed their underwear every day.

French consumers performed the worst, as 58 percent of respondents reported that they change their passwords less than twice a year, followed closely by the Spanish (46 percent) and the Danes (45 percent) hardly do any better. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Germans come out on top, with 36 percent saying that they are regularly change their passwords.

When it comes to sharing passwords, the Dutch are the most secretive, as only 38 percent of them admit to sharing their password with someone they know. The worst performing nations were the Italians (46 percent), the Danes (47 percent) and certainly not the French (51 percent).

“We tend to think that passwords don’t really protect us and that they are just a bothersome requirement devised by IT experts to make us believe our credentials are safe. The reality is that cyber criminals are ready to spend a lot of time and money on trying to steal the passwords that protect some of our most confidential information,” says David Emm, principal security researcher, Kaspersky Lab.

“Some information can be genuinely private or confidential, while some may be of no interest to other people at all. Its value is relative to what it could be used for. We prefer taking the theoretical risk of having our private lives exposed rather than complying with guidelines to protect ourselves.”

“Yet in most cases, staying safe involves following just a few basic rules. For example: passwords aren’t meant to be shared, shouldn’t be on view for the whole world to see, and should be changed regularly — just like underwear.”

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