When scrubbing toilets and doing other household chores is preferable to thinking of new user names or passwords, then you know it’s a burdensome thing. A new national survey from Janrain, a social software services company, reveals that American adults need to remember five or more unique online passwords. Thirty-eight percent are so frustrated that they think tasks like folding laundry or scrubbing toilets – even solving world peace – might be easier than coming up with another new user name or password combination.
The majority of those surveyed say they try to create strong passwords, using letter and number combinations instead of obvious names or words, like “password,” but the problem is recalling the complicated passwords. Nearly 37 percent have to ask for assistance on their user name or password from at least one website per month.
“With all of the different websites consumers login to on a regular basis – from email and social networks to online banking and e-commerce sites – it’s no wonder people are struggling to remember such a large number of passwords,” Janrain CEO Larry Drebes said. “What’s surprising is that consumers think cleaning their bathroom, or in the extreme cases trying to solve world peace, sounds preferable to adding yet another password to the list.”
If you are experiencing password fatigue, and would like to never worry again about remembering your passwords, then try avast! EasyPass. You get strong, unique passwords for every site you visit – with just one click. The best part is that you access your passwords using one Master Password, so you don’t have to remember lots of passwords or waste time asking websites for help. Download a free trial of avast! EasyPass now.
We have another entry on the growing list of hacks – Blizzard Entertainment, publisher of popular games such as World of Warcraft and the Diablo and Starcraft series, reported last week that a large amount of user account data for Battle.net gamers was compromised.
“This week, our security team found an unauthorized and illegal access into our internal network here at Blizzard. We quickly took steps to close off this access and began working with law enforcement and security experts to investigate what happened,” wrote Blizzard President Mike Morhaime. “We take the security of your personal information very seriously, and we are truly sorry that this has happened.”
Stolen data includes email addresses, answers to security questions, a database of “cryptographically scrambled” passwords, and data related to dial-in and smartphone app-based two-factor authentication. Battle.net users should change their account passwords immediately. You can do that here.
Jindrich Kubrec, Avast Virus Lab senior analyst gives some tips for securing your passwords:
1. Avoid anything ‘personal’ such as names and birth dates – see this list for examples of passwords to avoid
2. Avoid overly complex passwords as you don’t want to write them down
3. Don’t reuse passwords anywhere – leaks will happen in the future and you don’t want a single leak giving the bad guys keys to all the online services you use
4. Longer passwords are always better
5. Beware the phishers: always ensure you’re doing sensitive operation on the legitimate site, under a secure and verified connection. I’d also recommend never clicking on links in emails to update sensitive information Instead, manually enter the site and make changes.
6. If you can’t be bothered with steps 1 – 5, try avast! EasyPass to generate strong, unique passwords for every site you visit. The best part is that you access your passwords using one Master Password, so you don’t have to remember lots of passwords.
Yesterday, LinkedIn started investigating a password leak, followed by online dating site eHarmony, and now online music streaming site LastFM has announced on their blog that they too are investigating the leak of user passwords. As a precautionary measure, they are advising all their users to change their passwords immediately. You can do that here.
Yesterday, a Russian hacker reportedly stole 6.5 million LinkedIn passwords and 1.5 million passwords from eHarmony. It is not yet known if the hacking incidents are related.
It’s worth repeating the password tips my colleague Jindrich Kubec wrote in an earlier blog post.
A simple 5 step procedure for creating new passwords:
- 1. Avoid anything ‘personal’ such as names and birth dates – see this list for examples of passwords to avoid
- 2. Avoid overly complex passwords as you don’t want to write them down
- 3. Don’t reuse passwords anywhere – leaks will happen in the future and you don’t want a single leak giving the bad guys keys to all the online services you use
- 4. Longer passwords are always better
- 5. Beware the phishers: always ensure you’re doing sensitive operation on the legitimate site, under a secure and verified connection. I’d also recommend never clicking on links in emails to update sensitive information Instead, manually enter the site and make changes.
On the heels of the Zappos cyber robbery last Sunday that left 24M customers fretting over stolen passwords and email addresses, articles are being published about how people can protect themselves online. The number one point is always about passwords. Clean up your passwords. Never Share Your Password. Create different passwords for different accounts.
Sage advice, which we at AVAST support. We even have a dedicated password manager called avast! EasyPass to help you juggle it all. The theft at Zappos and the struggle for greater online privacy made it even more startling when I read about the growing trend among teenagers to share their passwords as an act of trust with their current BFFs. Read more…
Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and the busiest shopping day of the year, starts at midnight November 25th with mega-sales running throughout the weekend. Cyber Monday, the online retail equivalent to Black Friday, is the time when many consumers, who didn’t want to fight the crowds over Thanksgiving weekend or failed to find what they were looking for, shop online that Monday from home or work.
“For our US friends especially, this weekend is when retailers, offline and online, offer the best deals of the year,” said Jindrich Kubec, senior virus analyst at the AVAST Virus Lab. “It’s also when cybercriminals become hyperactive with scams and fraudulent offers.”