How often do you change your password?

With almost everything being digital, we find passwords being an important part of life. Passwords are used as a way to prevent unauthorised access into our most important accounts such as online banking, email and confidential documents.

Prof Rika Butler of the School of Accountancy at Stellenbosch University and Martin Butler of the Stellenbosch University Business School analysed an online survey investigating South Africans’ password practices.

According to prof Butler, it is important to change passwords regularly, especially for high risk accounts like internet banking, email and maybe social media accounts.

The survey showed that:

  • 65 percent of users are not exactly sure what a ‘strong’ password is
  • Only 11 percent of users can distinguish between more and less secure passwords
  • Even though 75 percent of users believe they employ safe password practices, only 50 percent in fact do so; and
  • People don't change their passwords even when hearing about security breaches in the media or from friends, or after being on the receiving end of a security breach.

Prof Butler says most people use the same password for four to five accounts because it is convenient. By choosing a password that is easily remembered the user is at risk of exposure to cyber criminals, she says.

Users employ weak password practices such as:

  • Using information that is meaningful or can be associated with the user;
  • Not using a combination of upper and lower case alphabetical and numerical characters when creating password;
  • Re-using previous passwords;
  • Simultaneously using a password for more than one purpose;
  • Sharing passwords;
  • Writing passwords down; or
  • Keeping passwords in electronic lists that are not password-protected.

Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Major medical breakthrough: New gene pegged as cause of heart attacks in youth

Major medical breakthrough: New gene pegged as cause of heart attacks in youth

This is being called the biggest medical advancement in South African cardiology since Dr Chris Barnard's first heart transplant.

Parents urged to check tertiary institutions are legit before registering kids

Parents urged to check tertiary institutions are legit before registering kids

The Council on Higher Education says parents need to be wary of the increasing number of fly-by-night tertiary institutions.

New app to detect hearing loss

New app to detect hearing loss

University of Pretoria has developed a new app which uses a smartphone to detect hearing loss.

UK prison officers manage to quell mass inmate riots

UK prison officers manage to quell mass inmate riots

Britain recorded the worst prison riots in 26 years after 600 inmates at a prison in Birmingham embarked on a 12-hour riot.

Gauteng tops drunk driving offences since start of the festive season

Gauteng tops drunk driving offences since start of the festive season

Traffic authorities have arrested more than 3 000 people for various traffic offences, with drunk driving as the leading offence.

2016 news wrap: A look back at the stories that grabbed SA's attention

2016 news wrap: A look back at the stories that grabbed SA's attention

Barry Bateman spoke to Stephen Grootes to unpack the meaning behind the stories that dominated the headlines in 2016.

Popular articles
Sucking titties does not cure cancer, it detects it - Lillian Dube

Sucking titties does not cure cancer, it detects it - Lillian Dube

Actress, Cancer survivor and activist Lillian Dube shares why she decided to be a cancer activist.

Yet another wet and cold weekend for Gauteng warns weather service

Yet another wet and cold weekend for Gauteng warns weather service

Gauteng residents are warned to brace themselves for another weekend of heavy rain, possible hail and damaging winds.

[Watch] SA choir stuns with isiZulu cover of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’

[Watch] SA choir stuns with isiZulu cover of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’

Khabazela shares some of the most popular tweets, posts, and videos on 'What's gone Viral'.

10-year-old maths whiz Sbahle Zwane gets a scholarship from Curro school

10-year-old maths whiz Sbahle Zwane gets a scholarship from Curro school

Azania Mosaka catches up with Sbahle Zwane's mother to hear about developments with his schooling.

'It's unacceptable that government officials pay R75 for luxury apartments'

'It's unacceptable that government officials pay R75 for luxury apartments'

IFP national spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa says the party is calling for a review of these rates that are a cost to taxpayers.

Getting drunk improves creative problem solving - Harvard Business School

Getting drunk improves creative problem solving - Harvard Business School

Bruce Whitfield asks branding and advertising expert Andy Rice about a peculiar study that has creatives reaching for the tequila.