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BizReport : Internet : October 09, 2009

Implore your customers to think harder about passwords

Use the fact that it's National Cyber Security Awareness Month to bring to your consumers' attention the need for protecting personal information online with a well thought out password.

by Helen Leggatt

acunetix logo.jpgThe past few weeks have brought forth stories of leaked passwords from major sites and even online email services such as Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo Mail.

Just as worrying as news of leaked or hacked passwords are the findings of security researcher Bogdan Calin from web application security scanning technology development business, Acunetix. After analyzing 10,000 Windows Live Hotmail passwords Calin discovered that users aren't creative enough and many are just downright lazy.

"A big majority of users still use very poor passwords: 42% (lower alpha only) and 19% (numeric only), while only 6% from all the passwords had passwords which use a selection of alpha numeric and other characters," wrote Calin on the Acunetix blog.

Incredibly, Calin's analysis found that the most common password in his sample of 10,000 was "123456", followed by "123456789".

It's not all bad news. Thirty-percent of passwords analyzed used a good combination of upper- and lower-case letters and numbers and one account even had a password 30 characters long.

By educating your customers as to the value of a secure, unique password you can make them feel more confident about your business's security vigilance and the safety of their data.

Tags: Acunetix, data security, e-commerce, online security, password security, personal data

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