Security firm Symantec on Friday released results
of a survey on password management that showed 63 percent of respondents
don't change their passwords very often, 45 percent use a few passwords
that they alternate for all accounts, and some 10 percent don't change
their passwords at all.
A not so far-fetched analogy of the password by
the University of Wyoming
These are a startling numbers as, according to the
survey, 44 percent of respondents said they have more than 20
accounts that require a password.
Worst of all, the survey also
found that about 10 percent of respondents have used their pet's name as
a password. This is as bad as using words that can be easily guessed,
such as your name, your significant other's name, or your birthday.
Symantec says that organizations as well
as consumers can take precautions to lower their security risk and the
first step is by using effective passwords.
An effective password
is one that's hard to guess and yet at the same time easy for the owner
Here are some tips for choosing a strong password:
Use a mix of numbers, letters, punctuation, and symbols.
Take a word or phrase that's meaningful to you and alter it.
Replace the first few characters in your password with
numbers or symbols.
The longer the better
Avoid personal information, repetition, sequences, and
For example, you can think of a
meaningful sentence such as "Let the sun shine" then alter it, by
replacing "e" with "3" and "s" with "$," into "L3tTh3$un$hin3" to use as
a password. Of course, you need to make your own sentence.
As cumbersome as it is, having a strong password really goes a long
way in protecting your personal information. For more information on
consumers' general state of mind in regard to passwords, you can see the
full Symantec survey