Study: Most users choose weak passwords

IT often struggles with getting users to select strong passwords to protect sensitive company data. That’s usually an uphill battle – especially when users aren’t even choosing strong passwords to protect their own information. 

That’s how a majority of users treat passwords, according to a recent survey by Consumer Reports.

According to Consumer Reports, a strong password is one that:

  1. has at least eight characters
  2. uses upper and lowercase letters, and
  3. has at least one number or special character.

However, just 25% of the people surveyed use a password like that to protect their most sensitive accounts.

In addition, among the 1,000 adults surveyed:

  1. 32% use a personal reference in their passwords
  2. 29% keep passwords written down and carry them around or store them near their computer, and
  3. 20% use the same password for more than five accounts.
What it means for IT: Most users could use some more training about the importance of choosing secure passwords. Including some information about how strong passwords can help them protect themselves as well as the company could help get people to pay attention.