Australia, your password game is weak. New research by Telstra has revealed 78 per cent use the same password across multiple accounts and include pet names, favourite teams and birth dates.
The study shows that 1.4 million Australians use the same password for 10 or more different accounts with 1.5 million admitting they keep their passwords handy in places like on the fridge and in their wallet.
Alarmingly, Australians have lost $194 million so far this year to scams and hackers so boosting the strength of our passwords is one easy way of protecting ourselves.
“Your password is the first line of defence when it comes to your online safety so don’t make it easy for scammers to make you a target,” says Telstra’s Cyber Security Expert Darren Pauli. “Criminals are relentless and will exploit Australians’ tendency to use the same password across multiple accounts. All it takes is one breach and multiple accounts can be compromised.
“Contrary to popular belief, your best bet is to use a unique and easy to remember passphrase including a few capitals or special characters.”
Apart from using the same password for multiple accounts, almost half of Australians in the survey (46 per cent) say their passwords would be pretty easy to guess.
One in five use their pet’s name while one in 10 (13 per cent) use generic passwords like “password”, “123abc”, “123456”.
One in 10 use their favourite sporting team while another 17 per cent used their own birthdate.
Telstra advises we need to not only user stringer passwords or phrases, but we also need to switch on two-factor authentication.