Highlighting the need for storing passwords, cybersecurity researchers have found that that 83 per cent of online users are thinking up their own, weak passwords, while 54 per cent say they are unaware about how to check if any of their credentials have already been leaked.
Passwords are the most common method of authentication, but they only work if they are hard to crack and confidential.
With an increasing number of apps requiring them, it can be hard to come up with new ideas for complex passwords and keep them all in your mind – especially when users may be required to change their passwords regularly, according to a Kaspersky report.
“In addition to this challenge of creativity for users, it’s becoming more vital to store passwords securely and look out for possible instances when these credentials could be leaked,” said the report.
According to the findings, 55 per cent of users claim they remember all of their passwords – which can be difficult if security requirements such as password complexity and uniqueness are to be satisfied.
One in five (19 per cent) keep them written in a file or document stored on their computer, while 18 per cent use the browsers on their computers, smartphones, or tablets to store their passwords.
“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,” said Marina Titova, Head of Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky.
There are some ways to check if your password has been leaked.
For instance, services such as ‘Have I Been Pwned?’ maintain a database where users can check if their passwords have been included in public leaks or data breaches without visiting the sketchier parts of the web.
“Minimise the number of people you share account login information with and never leave passwords where others might find them – be it on paper or on a device. Keeping them on sticky notes or a pad might be tempting, but it will also be just as easy for others to access things you don’t want them to,” said the researchers.
Use strong and robust passwords generated by a reliable security solution, said Kaspersky.