Password Best Practices
A new survey commissioned by tech giants Google in Asia has confirmed what many of us have continued to suspect all these years – most people still have incredibly unsecure password practices, despite relying on the internet to get things done much more than before.
For the Singaporean community especially, Google highlighted a few worrying trends regarding password safety that was confirmed after querying thousands of individuals.
- Despite around 60 percent of Singaporeans having experienced a data breach (or at least knowing a person who has), 94 percent of all respondents still admit to practicing poor password habits.
- 82 percent of Singaporeans recycle the same password for multiple sites, 40 percent admitting doing this for up to 10 different websites.
- 35 percent of respondents admitted to using easy-to-guess password combinations, including birthdates, anniversaries, pet names, and postal codes.
- 17 percent admitted to keeping their passwords on digital note applications on their devices – most of them of which aren’t encrypted by default.
- Every two in five (44 percent) revealed that they had no problems sharing their passwords with those close to them – mostly friends and family.
- For online transactions, 64 percent said that they’d made purchases without the use of a secure symbol (which tells whether or not a site is secure).
Security is a necessity.
In its report highlighting the survey results, Google acknowledged that practices such as the ones highlighted above only serve to endanger internet users and put them at risk of data breaches and hackings that lead up to hefty damages
With the e-commerce boom now more apparent than ever, it’s estimated that the average internet user has 25 percent more passwords today than they did before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. On average, each person holds around 80 passwords – which is a lot to memorize.
This explains why many individuals now choose to recycle their passwords, use easy combinations, or store them in unsecure note applications on their phones or computers, for instance.
We know from past research that people who have had their data exposed by a breach are 10 times more likely to be hijacked,
When we compromise security for convenience by sharing, recycling, and using guessable passwords, we put our personal information – including payment data – at exponential risk.Ben King, country director for Google Singapore
3 Easy things Google recommends.
Simply use stronger and better passwords.
Google recommends using a strong combination for each account, with all passwords at least eight characters in length and not at all obvious to guess.
Always use two-factor authentication (2FA) wherever possible.
Google reminds us that using 2FA greatly decreases the likelihood of another party gaining unwanted access to our accounts and info online.
Do the Google Security Checkup.
Google recommends using their Security Checkup feature to safeguard their online data and accounts, and is adamant that the two-minute duration needed to do so is completely worth it.
password policy best practices