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Weak passwords continue to give cyber crims access to personal information

New research highlights the continuing issue of weak passwords, revealing that 30% of ransomware infections in 2019 were due to passwords.

PreciseSecurity.com research found that phishing scams caused more than 67% of ransomware infection globally during the last year. Another 36% of mail protection service users reported ransomware attacks caused by the lack of cybersecurity training.

Weak passwords were the third most common reason for ransomware infections globally in 2019. The 30% share in the combined number of ransomware infections during the last year’s indicates a concerning level of password security awareness, the company states.

The 2019 Google survey about beliefs and behaviors around online security showed that two in three individuals recycle the same password across multiple accounts.

More than 50% admitted using one ‘favourite’ password for the majority of the accounts. Only one-third of respondents knew how to define the password manager.

Furthermore, the 2019 Statista survey reveals that 64% of US respondents find stolen passwords as the most concerning issue about data privacy.

However, such a high level of concern didn't affect their habits related to keeping track of login information.

According to the findings, 43% of respondents reported that their primary method of keeping track of their most crucial login information was to write it down. Another 45% of respondents named memorising the login data as their primary method of tracking. At the same time, only 12% of US online users take advantage of password managers.

Using hard to guess passwords represent the first step in securing sensitive online information, PreciseSecurity.com states. However, according to the UK's National Cyber Security Centre 2019 survey, password reuse and weak passwords still represent a significant risk for companies and individuals all over the world.

The breach analysis indicated that 23.2 million victim accounts from all parts of the world used 123456 as a password. Another 7.8 million data breach victims chose a 12345678 password.

On top of this, more than 3.5 million people globally picked up the word ‘password’ to protect access to their sensitive information.

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