The psychology behind passwords
Towards the end of every year experts usually make research in order to see the behavior of users of different devices. One of the most common and intriguing subjects for them is human behavior towards password creating and general use of passwords. It is proven through the years that peoples’ choices of passwords are usually highly hackable despite the years of education about the importance of password strength and security.
At the end of the last year, a survey confirmed that one of the most popular passwords choices are still „123456″ and „password”. It seems as people are choosing a password that is easy to remember and continue to use it for various accounts and profiles. The fear of forgetting a password and staying short of signing in a certain account is far greater of the necessity of passwords to be secure.
The urge of the people to pick easiest and simplest forms of passwords is somehow understandable because of the fact that in our modern lives – a great number of passwords is required. We use passwords for different purposes – for bank accounts, social media, different online services or simply – for unlocking our computers or mobile phones. But if you opt out for a weak password, it can be a crucial mistake – opening the road for a number of thefts and identity frauds.
On the other side, there is the possibility of people choosing complicated passwords but then again – using them repeatedly across accounts. In this case, if a person uses a password in such a manner, all the hacker need to do is to breach one device or a password – and then he can unlock a string of accounts, even including the most protected and treasured banking services. If he succeeds in this, it leaves a person open to impersonation, a hacker then can create fake accounts in a person’s name, or collect all of the personal information.
However, as much as hacker attacks occur even more due to poor users behavior and use of passwords, individuals’ password behavior seems like hasn’t evolved and is nowhere within being secure. Users behavior remain unchanged through the years and some petty risky behavior is shown. The researches show that more than a half of people in the survey would only change the password if their account had been hacked, while the other half do not create various passwords for personal and work accounts and use the same passwords across the specter.
There is also psychology behind the choice of one’s password. The experts say that people could be generated into different genres according to how they choose a password for their account or device. There are “family-oriented” people who select their own name or nickname or name of a kid, partner, pet and furthermore – birth date. Because of their strong family ties, they choose those password of the emotional value. There is a group of people called “fans”- they are using the names of singers, movie stars, characters from the books, sportsmen, etc. Those are usually the young ones and they want in this way to connect in some way with the people they love. There are even people who use terms as “sexy”, “goddess”, and those are usually male – in this way expressing their interest in the other sex. The last group of people is the so-called “cryptics”- they base their passwords on a random string of number, letters, symbols, or combination of all of it. Their passwords are usually the most secure ones.
Nowadays there is an application which is called “password manager”. It an easy-to-access software program that safely tracks and then saves your passwords. This could be a great solution for the people who are tired of thinking of new passwords but still want to stay safety-conscious. For the people who avoid the task of assigning different passwords to different accounts of theirs, it may be very helpful. Also, for the group of people who are not willing to changing their passwords until they have been hacked – this is also a great solution.
In any case, until the person experiences the great danger of being hacked and losing personal information and contacts, they probably would not be aware that a simple change in their usually used passwords could be of great help. It is a preventive measure which we have to take even though it is a routine, but it is better safe than sorry. Also, one more countermeasure is not to share one’s passwords with friends, family or co-workers. Even though we trust people with whom we want to share passwords, we do not know whether or not our password will end up being used on a less-secure device or even stored on someone’s easily-accessible files. As a matter of prevention – do not write down your passwords either! When it is difficult for us to remember a certain string of password we tend to write it down, however, this crucial mistake may lead into losing the paper or it may end up in bad guy’s hands. People can also use mnemonics – encoding the first letters into our password or replacing letters with numbers or symbols. Those passwords are distinct and personal and very hard to be breached into.
In order to create a strong and solid password – for the necessary protection – one must follow almost all of the things listed above. However, do not forget the most important one – from the security of your password depends on your whole storage of personal data and information, and unless you do not want to experience the traumatic feeling of losing all of it in a single moment – the time for resetting your password is now!