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Kaspersky Lab: Consumers undermine their online security by sharing passwords

Nearly half (44 percent) of Internet users admit to having shared their passwords with somebody or left them visible for people to see, according to the findings of Kaspersky Lab’s recent consumer surveys—Consumer Security Risks Survey 2015 and “Are you cybersavvy?” Quiz—one of which has 1,394 respondents from the Philippines. 

This finding, Kaspersky Lab says, shows a lack of cyber savviness and could make it easy for cybercriminals to unlock and access the online lives of consumers.

When asked about the importance of passwords, the respondents were more likely to think that strong passwords were necessary for the online services they valued the most.

The surveys found that, to consumers, the sites most in need of strong passwords were online banking (54 percent), e-mail (44 percent) and social-media sites (24 percent).

The list of the top three most important applications was almost identical, at 53 percent for online banking, 43 percent for e-mail, and 21 percent for social-media sites.

The respondents also believe that online shopping and payment applications require strong passwords, but don’t place the same value on these sites.

Just 29 percent of them considered online shopping to be a personally important service, although over a third (38 percent) felt it needed a strong password.

In addition, 29 percent agreed that online-payment systems needed a strong password, with slightly fewer—23 percent—regarding these services as personally valuable.

More worrying is the fact that, although consumers agreed that online financial transactions require a strong password, over a quarter (29 percent) thought there was no need to have additional protection for their personal credentials when using these services.

They expected the brands they shopped with to provide all the protection they needed.

Putting their personal information at even greater risk, a third (33 percent) of Internet users also admitted to freely sharing passwords with family members.

Forty-four percent have both shared passwords and left them visible to others. One in 10 (11 percent) shared passwords with friends and a surprising 6 percent with colleagues.

And, with over a third (38 percent) of consumers using only one e-mail address for all of their needs, sharing that password with others could prove costly.

Should it get into the wrong hands, this password could unlock all information stored in that e-mail address.

To help users maintain the integrity of their passwords, Kaspersky Password Manager (a part of Kaspersky Total Security–Multidevice) provides an extra layer of protection by securely storing all passwords and synchronizing them across all devices. The product remembers and generates strong passwords and has auto-logging capabilities for safer access to valuable applications, accounts and websites.

Check your level of cybersavviness at https://blog.kaspersky.com/cyber-savvy-quiz/. For more tips on how to protect yourself online, visit https://blog.kaspersky.com/tag/cybersavvy.

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