If you want to stay secure online, then stop sharing your passwords, Kaspersky warns
A study has found that nearly half of Internet users regularly put themselves at risk of having their online accounts hacked by telling other people their passwords.
The survey from security firm Kaspersky discovered that 44 percent of users quizzed admit to having shared their passwords with somebody or leaving them visible for people to see, opening them up to serious risk of compromise or attack.
A third (33 percent) admitted to freely sharing passwords with family members, one in ten (11 percent) shared passwords with friends, and six percent did so with colleagues.
Despite this lackadaisical approach to password secrecy, many people did recognise the value of having strong passwords for the online services they used the most. Overall, the websites most in need of strong passwords were online banking (54 percent), email (44 percent) and social media sites (24 percent).
However despite this, over a quarter (29 percent) said there was no need to have additional protection for their personal credentials when using these services, as they expected the brands they shop with to provide all the protection necessary.
“Consumers need to be more cyber-savvy about passwords,” said David Emm, principal security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, “once shared, it is very difficult to know exactly where your password will end up.”
“Our research shows that there is a real disconnect between the understanding of why we need strong passwords and the action people take to keep them safe. No one would expect a friend or family member to knowingly divulge a password, but by sharing passwords, consumers are increasing the risk of them falling into the wrong hands.”
“This could give cybercriminals easy access to personal and financial information and hacked accounts can be used to distribute malicious links and files, harming others. At worst, entire identities could be put at risk. Even the most complex password is weak if it’s visible to others, so keep it to yourself.”