Consumers neglecting strongest passwords for sensitive accounts, report reveals
Consumer Reports characterizes a strong password as one containing at least eight characters, combining upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Despite setting the bar relatively low with this well-known standard, a surprising amount of Americans continue to fall short.
According to the report, one in five respondents use the same password for more than four accounts. Also, approximately 30 percent of those surveyed report that they use a personal reference in their password or use combinations that are less than eight characters long on their most sensitive accounts.
To bolster their online security stance, consumers need to take another look at the fundamentals of password creation and storage.
Consumer Reports analysts recommend using a unique password for every account and ensuring all combinations are of sufficient strength. Avoiding obvious and predictable combinations will also be essential, as hackers often draw from extensive password-cracking dictionaries. For those users uncertain of their ability to meet this standard, a password organizer tool may facilitate and simplify secure online account management.