Cape Town - A global survey has found that more than a third of computer
users have weak passwords that may leave them vulnerable to being
Research conducted by O+K Research for Kaspersky
Lab in 25 countries found that 34% of users made use of passwords that
were too easy to guess.
Many used a date of birth (17%) a name
(10%), or a pet's name (9%) as their password. In SA, 13% used their
pet's name as a password, the survey showed.
Some used simple passwords like "123456" or even the word "password", the survey found.
are actively engaged in trying to steal identities and the online arena
has proved to be lucrative for criminals to use stolen identities to
commit unlawful acts and leave the victim with the responsibility to
prove their innocence.
"A brute-forced or stolen password can
give access to a user's every last detail - starting with personal
photos and finishing with credit card details. Therefore complex
passwords to access online services are critical," Kaspersky said.
communication technologies that can identify users should be
well-protected to prevent thieves from accessing users' details and
"We all have smartphones now and do we use it
for work? Of course. All our correspondence - e-mails, passwords are
stored on our mobile phones. It can be hacked or stolen - it isn't
protected well. It's important to think about security of all these new
technologies," Sergey Novikov, head of Kaspersky Lab Global Research and
Analysis Team told News24.
Strong passwords include using a
combination of letters, numbers and symbols. It is also important to
change passwords regularly to exercise better security.
US, the FBI disrupted an international cyber fraud operation by seizing
the servers that had infected as many as two million computers with
malicious software in 2011.
"Some of the most critical threats
facing our nation today emanate from the cyber realm. We've got hackers
out to take our personal information and money, spies who want to steal
our nation's secrets, and terrorists who are looking for novel ways to
attack our critical infrastructure," said Shawn Henry, FBI executive
assistant director in 2011.