Many people still don’t understand the importance of internet security

June 12, 2012

Recent security breaches in major websites like Linkedin, eHarmony and LastFM have given us a timely reminder of the importance of having strong internet security practices in place.

Despite this, many people still show an alarming apathy for internet security and will often choose convenience over safety when it comes to securing their private information.

Last year, IT security consultant Mark Burnett set out to find the worst (AKA most common) passwords in the world by comparing 6,000,000 publicly available username/password combinations.

The word ‘Password’ was ranked first, while QWERTY took fourth place. Embarrassingly, the remaining top six were all an ascending series of numbers starting with one.

According to Burnett’s study, 91 per cent of users employ a password from the list of top 1000 selections.

This is concerning as obviously the more commonly used a password is, the easier it is to hack. Essentially anyone looking to crack into private information can access the majority of accounts simply by trying usernames in combination with those 1000 passwords.

Burnett recently posted a blog entry confirming that 93 per cent of the Linkedin passwords leaked earlier this month were present in his top 1000 list.

This is despite the fact that many security firms have encouraged people to select secure and unpredictable passwords in order to prevent hackers gaining unauthorised access.

While there are unlikely to be many businesses out there with the password ‘123456’, the findings are still an indication of a lack of public awareness for the importance of good security protocols.

Anyone concerned that their procedures may not be up to scratch should consider a due diligence assessment in order to stay on top of the latest technological developments.

By undertaking a due diligence assessment, businesses receive a thorough evaluation of the strengths and vulnerabilities in their online security systems and can make any necessary adjustments required to reduce the risk of unwanted access.

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