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UAE passwords are not secure: Kaspersky

Security specialist says 33% use primitive and easily cracked passwords

UAE passwords are not secure: Kaspersky
Of those surveyed, 14% use a simple combination of figures such as ‘123456’.

A survey carried out for Kaspersky Lab by O+K Research in 25 countries worldwide shows that the risks of simple passwords is not fully understood by users in the UAE - 33% of respondents are practically unprotected (34% globally).

According to the survey, users in UAE use insecure passwords too often, which are easily brute-forced without any special techniques being applied. Examples include a date of birth (11%), a middle name (8%) or a pet's name (6%). This sort of information may be known by casual acquaintances or even strangers. According to Kaspersky a creative fraudster can easily find such information on the Internet, for example, on social networking sites.

Of those surveyed, 14% use a simple combination of figures such as ‘123456' or similar, and 8% of respondents simply use the word "password".

Another problem which is often overlooked is the repeated use of the same password. In theory, this avoids the danger of forgetting passwords. In practice, though, if this universal password is compromised, fraudsters have an easy path into several accounts, services and programs.

According to O+K Research, 12% of users in UAE use one password for all accounts while 30% use different passwords for each account. Greater than one third of the survey participants (37%) never heard of applications or services that allow users to centrally manage and protect multiple devices.

The place where you store your password is very important when it comes to data security. The good news at least is that most users in UAE (78%) prefer to memorise and not to write them down, which is not bad practice, but often results in simple passwords or one password for several accounts. Some 44% admitted that they have forgotten a vital password at least once. And 5% just write the password on a piece of paper and leave it near their computer, while 10% use an ordinary paper notebook for this purpose.

A brute-forced or stolen password can give access to any user detail, including personal photos and credit card details. Complex passwords should always be used to access online services, Kaspersky advises.

It is also vital not to use the same password for different services, for fear of losing not only important data but also your online personality.

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