Kaspersky finds risky password trends in South Africa

man typing on keyboard password

A recent study by Kaspersky has found that South Africans are jeopardising their online accounts with risky password habits.

Kaspersky’s Global Privacy Report 2020 found that only a third of South Africans (36%) are generating passwords for new accounts.

This means that the vast majority of South African users re-use the same password across multiple accounts.

Meanwhile, as many as 16% of users are using a single password for all of their online accounts.

This makes users more vulnerable to breaches, since cybercriminals often use login details from one leak to attempt to access other services linked to the account.

However, this is not the only concern that Kaspersky found.

South African users are also using unreliable and unsafe methods to store or remember passwords. Some opted to use notepads, use web browsers to store or remember passwords, save passwords in a file on a computer’s desktop, or use pen and paper.

“We are now living in a high-tech world where IDs are no longer physical materials, but logical and represented by user accounts. These user accounts are protected with passwords; passwords where consumers use them to manage online accounts for everything from mobile banking, online shopping, checking the weather or booking a taxi,” says Kaspersky’s Senior Security Researcher Maher Yamout.

“So, they should be taking better care to protect themselves with effective password security as these passwords represent their IDs,” he adds.

Safer password habits

Yamout notes that bad password management is like leaving the front door open to your personal data and bank accounts.

So, what are the ways one can safely store or remember their passwords?

One way is to limit the number of individuals that have access to your login details. In addition, you should not store them in unsafe locations.

Another option is to use a reliable and secure password checker site or app that will offer the necessary feedback on the strength and security of your passwords. Thinking up your own passwords isn’t recommended.

A secure password manager can help you create distinct passwords for each account.

You should also frequently change your passwords to prevent data leaks, hacking, and phishing from occurring.

To read the full study, visit Kaspersky’s site for more information.

Feature image: Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

Ashleigh Klein


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