Passwords are evil and expensive

Thursday, 21 August 2003, 8:20 AM EST

Some interesting facts about people's use of passwords have emerged from a survey of over 3,000 IT professionals and business execs carried out in the US.

Just under a quarter have eight or more different names and passwords to access different parts of their computer system. Eighteen per cent are lucky enough to have just one, with most stuck with between three and four.

With this many to remember, you'd think some people would write them down. They do. Over half (55 per cent) of people have written their password down at least once, with most having written them down about three times. Nine percent of people always write their passwords down.

But clued-up companies are fighting back against possible security breaches. Just under a quarter of companies insist passwords are changed seven times a year or more. And just over a quarter three to four times a year.

That's not all. Over half of all companies insist employees use a combination of letters and numbers in their password to make a potential hacker's job harder. And 37 per cent insist on passwords of eight characters or more for the same reason.

[ Read more ]

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