Our recent security breach with our HMRC agent's login has taught us that we need to be more disciplined in protecting and then regularly changing our passwords. The trouble is, they take some managing. I was beginning to think it was just me, but apparently the problem is universal!
Centrify Corporation reckons the average employee wastes £261 a year in company time on trying to manage multiple passwords. I'm not sure if I'm more horrified at the amount, or at the thought of the work that must have gone into such a precise calculation!
In fact, their research shows that more than a quarter of workers enter a password more than ten times a day. It also found that:
38% of workers have accounts they cannot get into any more because they cannot remember the password;
28% get locked out at least once a month due to multiple incorrect password entries;
one in five change their passwords at least once a month;
14% believe they will have 100+ passwords to deal with in the next five years.
Another article I read this week says that more than a third (35%) of those questioned admitted that they do not create strong passwords because they struggle to recall them - yep, that's me! Nearly half (47%) have unsafe password habits such as using pet names or significant dates.
Jamie Saunders, director of the National Crime Agency (NCA) National Cyber Crime Unit, says what I think we all know already - that cyber criminals “will target weakness and therefore having weak passwords will leave you vulnerable”. The best way to deter hackers, said Saunders, is to use a mixture of numbers, letters and symbols and upper and lower case letters in a password. The trouble is, those are the least memorable passwords, and if you're trying to use a different password for every website and application you're soon going to come unstuck. And if you DO manage this mammoth feat of memory, you're going to have to repeat it every few months to stay ahead of the bad guys.
In the meantime I just can't bring myself to change our HMRC Agent's login yet again, but I know I have to! When did you last change yours?