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Survey: Beware of Using a Universal Password

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RISMEDIA, Feb. 7, 2008-(MCT)-While Internet users assume this high security risk knowingly, results from a recent online survey representative of the U.S. population indicate that password security is nevertheless a very important issue to them.

“People have been told over and over not to use the same password for multiple accounts, yet our survey shows they’re not listening,” said Ami Grynberg, CEO of Protecteer. “We believe this is because managing a different password for every account has been inconvenient up to this point.”

“Password managers, which safely and securely save and fill in password information, are an obvious solution to this problem-and many of them, such as SignupShield, are available for free or a nominal price; however, we found that over 75% of people were unfamiliar with any form of password management.”

Give the People What They Want

When asked to rate the features they would want most from a hypothetical program that managed their passwords, the majority of respondents indicated “secure access to online accounts” and “saving time by remembering login information” as their top two choices with security leading convenience by 2:1.

“While convenience definitely has a large affect on consumer decision-making, we’re not surprised to see that consumers identify even more strongly with the issue of security,” added Grynberg.

Phishing and online fraud are two of the most costly security threats today, each accounting for billions of dollars in losses for businesses and individuals each year. Both are the result of compromised passwords that are stolen and exploited.

“Password protection becomes increasingly important as more and more of people’s lives move online,” said Grynberg. “Whether it’s banking, shopping, social networking, or e-mail, all of these online accounts require a password, and knowledge of that password is often the only way a website can tell the difference between the you and someone who wants to steal your money, identity or information.”

“If people want to start taking steps to ensure the integrity of their online accounts, the easiest way is by protecting one of the most simple and effective forms of security: the password.”

Survey Results & Security Tips

STAT #1: 63% use the same password or a variation of it for all or most of their online accounts.
- 36.7% use a variation of a familiar password for most of their online accounts
- 22.9% use the same password for most of their online accounts
- 3.5% use the same password for all their of my online accounts

TIP: “Make your passwords 8 characters or longer. Each character you add beyond that makes the password much harder to crack. Also, add complexity by using upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.” – Ami Grynberg

STAT #2: Consumers value security and convenience most when it comes to passwords, with security trumping convenience 2:1.
- 42% rated “secure access to online accounts, including banking and other sensitive sites,” as the most important feature they would want to see in a program that managed their passwords.
- 24% rated “saving time by remembering login information” as the second most important feature that they would want to see in a program that managed their passwords.

TIP: “If you access sensitive accounts online, such as financial websites, don’t compromise on the quality of your password manager. Be sure that it can not only handle the login process, which may involve multi-step procedures, but also make sure that it can tell the difference between an authentic webpage and a fraudulent one. You don’t want to accidentally submit your password data to a third-party that can exploit that information.” – Ami Grynberg

STAT #3: Nearly half of all respondents have over 5 online accounts.
- 21.3% have between 6-10 online accounts
- 14.9% have between 11-20 online accounts
- 13% have more than 20 online accounts

TIP: “Even if you have only a few accounts, consider using a password manager to make sure you’re securing access to them and keeping your data safe.” – Ami Grynberg

For more information, visit www.Protecteer.com.

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