Survey finds easy passwords 'common'

2012-10-25 07:30
Global spam flow is monitored from Kaspersky Lab headquarters in Moscow. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Global spam flow is monitored from Kaspersky Lab headquarters in Moscow. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - A global survey has found that more than a third of computer users have weak passwords that may leave them vulnerable to being attacked online.

Research conducted by O+K Research for Kaspersky Lab in 25 countries found that 34% of users made use of passwords that were too easy to guess.

Many used a date of birth (17%) a name (10%), or a pet's name (9%) as their password. In SA, 13% used their pet's name as a password, the survey showed.

Some used simple passwords like "123456" or even the word "password", the survey found.

Fraudsters are actively engaged in trying to steal identities and the online arena has proved to be lucrative for criminals to use stolen identities to commit unlawful acts and leave the victim with the responsibility to prove their innocence.

"A brute-forced or stolen password can give access to a user's every last detail - starting with personal photos and finishing with credit card details. Therefore complex passwords to access online services are critical," Kaspersky said.


All communication technologies that can identify users should be well-protected to prevent thieves from accessing users' details and committing crimes.

"We all have smartphones now and do we use it for work? Of course. All our correspondence - e-mails, passwords are stored on our mobile phones. It can be hacked or stolen - it isn't protected well. It's important to think about security of all these new technologies," Sergey Novikov, head of Kaspersky Lab Global Research and Analysis Team told News24.

Strong passwords include using a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. It is also important to change passwords regularly to exercise better security.

In the US, the FBI disrupted an international cyber fraud operation by seizing the servers that had infected as many as two million computers with malicious software in 2011.

"Some of the most critical threats facing our nation today emanate from the cyber realm. We've got hackers out to take our personal information and money, spies who want to steal our nation's secrets, and terrorists who are looking for novel ways to attack our critical infrastructure," said Shawn Henry, FBI executive assistant director in 2011.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter
Read more on:    kaspersky lab  |  cybercrime  |  internet

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

linking and moving

2015-04-22 07:36 publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


China's air pollution at doomsday levels

China has long been struggling with air pollution issues but just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse – it has.



Moving short film on ivory trade
10 Tips for Greener Shopping
How safe are your baby products?
5 maps that will change the way you see the world

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

The pace may be slow today and you may struggle to get things off the ground level, but it is important to focus on the more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.