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article image70% of people 'have no confidence in passwords'

By James Walker     Jun 4, 2015 in Technology
A study has found that over 70 percent of ordinary Internet users believe that passwords are an inadequate and ineffective method of protecting personal details online. It also found that many are suffering from a chronic case of "password fatigue."
The findings suggest that the theft of data in recent attacks against major services such as the Christmas Day 2014 hacking of Sony's PlayStation Network and Microsoft's Xbox Live has scared people into considering their security online. This has led to a general consensus that companies should be doing more to protect people — 70 percent of consumers now lack confidence that a password is an adequate method of protecting an account, according to BetaNews.
The study was commissioned by mobile identity solutions provider TeleSign. The poll of 2,000 people in the U.S. and UK also found that 72 percent of people are actively looking for better ways to protect their online accounts, despite many more modern methods like two-factor authentication already being available.
TeleSign CEO Steve Jillings suggests that companies haven't publicised these features enough, saying: "The number one tip most experts give for increasing account security and stopping the fallout from data breaches is to turn on two-factor authentication. Yet our research shows that the majority of consumers (61 percent) do not know what two-factor authentication is, even though it's available on almost every account, free to the consumer and just waiting to be turned on."
Two-factor authentication is a very simple technique that can dramatically boost security. It involves connecting an account to another device, such as your mobile phone. When you sign in to an account from a new device for the first time, a code will be sent to your phone. The code is then entered to activate the account on the new device, preventing hackers from logging in to your account without first acquiring access to your password and phone.
The study also found that two in five people have had a password stolen or account hacked in the past year. Twenty-one percent haven't changed their password for ten years and 47 percent haven’t in the past five.
Interestingly, 68 percent think that companies should do more to increase security while 86 percent of those who do actually use two-factor authentication feel that their data is more secure because of it.
TeleSign is now launching a new campaign to help consumers enable two-factor authentication on their accounts. Called Turn It On, you can view simple step-by-step instructions for enabling it on numerous platforms. The list is far too extensive to publish here but if you were wanting a quick way to add security to whatever online accounts you have then it might be worth checking out TeleSign's guide.
More about Security, Password, Protection, authentication, Internet
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