More than four out of five people think up their own passwords, while 54% don’t know how to check if any of their credentials have been leaked. This is according to Kaspersky’s Defending digital privacy: taking personal protection to the next level report, which highlighted the growing need for better password storage, with people using an increasing number of online accounts.
Numerous studies have demonstrated the importance of having complex passwords that are changed regularly and differ across multiple accounts in order to prevent data breaches. Yet in this new report, 55% of users said they are able to remember all their passwords, suggesting that they do not make them sufficiently complex and unique.
The study also showed that of those who do keep a record of their passwords, many store them in places which make them vulnerable to being stolen. Of the 15,002 consumers surveyed across 23 countries, 19% stated that they store their passwords in a written file or on a computer, while 18% keep them saved on browsers their computers, smartphones, or tablets.
Kaspersky added that users should be made more aware of services such as ‘Have I Been Pwned?’ to enable them to check whether their passwords have been included in public leaks or data breaches without having to visit the dark web.
Marina Titova, head of consumer product marketing at Kaspersky, said: “Consumers can monitor the spread of personal data, including which passwords might have been leaked. And this is not only for the sake of ‘just being aware’; it also allows individuals to take the right action to minimize any invasion of privacy – along with any wider consequences. That’s why we at Kaspersky put a big focus on protecting consumer’s privacy.”
In order to minimize the risk of passwords being stolen, Kaspersky recommends that people never leave them in places where others may find them, whether written on paper or on a device.