Consumers think passwords are of no value to criminals

21 percent of respondents to a Kaspersky survey assume their passwords are of no value to criminals. Many often take the easy way out when creating and storing passwords. For example, only 26 percent of those surveyed create a separate password for each account and just 6 percent use password storage software.

However, passwords are the keys to an online account holders’ personal data, private life and even their money, which is very valuable to a criminal.

Despite the fact that passwords provide access to valuable information, the survey shows that respondents are not always careful. Specifically, 18 percent of those surveyed write down their passwords in a notebook and 17 percent freely share their personal account passwords with family members and friends.

“Even if you are not a celebrity or a billionaire, cybercriminals can profit from your credentials” says Elena Kharchenko, head of consumer product management, Kaspersky Lab. “A password is like a key to your home; you wouldn’t leave your door unlocked, or put your keys where anyone could find them, just because you don’t think you have anything of great value. Complex passwords unique to each account, carefully stored in a safe place, will save you a lot of trouble.”

To protect accounts against unauthorized entry, Kaspersky Lab recommends the following:

  • Create a unique password for each account: if one password is stolen, the rest will remain safe.
  • Create a complex password that won’t be easy to crack even if cybercriminals are using special programs. That means using at least 8 symbols including upper and lower-case letters, numbers, punctuation marks and no pet names or dates of birth.
  • Do not give your password to anyone, not even your friends. If cybercriminals can’t steal it from your device, they might be able do it from someone else’s.
  • Store your password in a safe place. Don’t write it down on paper; either remember it or use a special program for storing passwords from a reliable vendor.