One among four Indians still use weak passwords for their accounts: Report

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on September 30, 2020 Published on September 30, 2020

Platforms that provide cyber security solutions have been seeing a surge in demand for their offerings.   -  Getty Images/iStockphoto

One in four Indians still use weak passwords to authenticate their account, a recent report by global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky said.

According to the report based on the firm’s Digital Privacy and Password Management habits in the Digital Era survey, 76 per cent use strong passwords for all their online accounts.

Stronger passwords, regular updates

A major challenge faced by users is coming up with a separate password for each account which is relatively strong and updating these passwords regularly.

“With estimates suggesting that people have 27 online accounts on average – there can be a tendency to re-use the same password to make them more memorable,” said Kaspersky.

“It also makes it easy for someone to potentially reveal a user’s important details – and this could lead to account information being discovered and put into the public domain,” it added.

As per the report, only 11 per cent people use one password for all their accounts, while 54 per cent of respondents use unique passwords for all their accounts. 55 per cent of users updated their passwords regularly.

In terms of managing their passwords, 32 per cent of the respondents allowed browsers on the devices to save their passwords while 32 per cent of the people never follow this practice. 25 per cent of internet users store their passwords on a document in their devices while 17 per cent of the respondents use a password manager for all their passwords.

Cybersecurity awareness

A lack of cybersecurity awareness is another challenge in terms of password safety as nearly 44 per cent of respondents stated that they had no idea on how to check whether their password has been leaked.

“India, amongst the other countries in the Asia Pacific region, is growing rapidly towards digitalization,” said Stephan Neumeier, Managing Director for the Asia Pacific, Kaspersky.

“With internet getting even more accessible and affordable in the remotest parts of the nation, it also becomes important that the awareness on maintaining cyber hygiene is made available to the internet users, especially the newest users,” he said.

“Password management is the easiest and the most important first step that the user has control over, and by following a few basic steps to keep their passwords safe, users can avoid falling prey to cybercriminals, as well as mitigate the risks of cyber threats as much as possible”, he added.

Dipesh Kaura, General Manager, Kaspersky (South Asia ) suggested users leverage tools such as the ‘Have I Been Pwned?’ website.

“Services such as Have I Been Pwned? maintain an elaborate database where users can check if their passwords have been included in public leaks or data breaches without visiting the sketchier parts of the web,” he said.

“It is important that information like this is provided to the youth of our nation, the Gen Z, who can further spread awareness about cyber hygiene to their family and friends. This process can ensure that at least one member of the family is well aware of the cybersecurity practices and can help the others around them,” he added.

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Published on September 30, 2020
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