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More than half of consumers don't know how to check if their passwords have been compromised
The latest Kaspersky report, Defending digital privacy: taking personal protection to the next level, has found that 54% of users say they are unaware of how to check if any of their credentials have been leaked. The report also found that 83% of users are thinking up their own passwords.

Passwords are the most common method of authentication, but they only work if they are hard to crack and confidential. And with an increasing number of applications that require them, it can be hard to come up with new ideas for complex passwords and keep track of them all, especially when users may be required to change their passwords regularly.

In addition to the need for strong passwords, it's becoming more vital to store them securely and look out for possible instances when credentials could be leaked.

According to Kaspersky's report, 55% of users claim they remember all of their passwords, which can be difficult to meet security requirements such as password complexity and uniqueness. One in five (19%) keep them written in a file or document stored on their computer, while 18% use the browsers on their computers, smartphones, or tablets to store their passwords.

 

Chart 1: Which of the following methods do consumers use to store or remember their passwords?

There are ways to check if your password has been leaked. Services such as Have I Been Pwned? maintain a database where users can check to see if their passwords have been included in public leaks or data breaches without visiting the sketchier parts of the web.

"Consumers can monitor the spread of personal data, including which passwords might have been leaked," said Marina Titova, Head of Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky. "And this is not only for the sake of ‘just being aware'; it also allows individuals to take the right action to minimize any invasion of privacy - along with any wider consequences. That's why we at Kaspersky put a big focus on protecting consumer's privacy."

To ensure the safety of personal data, Kaspersky recommends users:

  • Minimize the number of people you share account login information with and never leave passwords where others might find them, be it on paper or on a device. Writing them down might be tempting, but it will also be just as easy for others to access things you don't want them to.
  • Use strong and robust passwords generated by a reliable security solution like Kaspersky Password Manager. This will produce secure, unique passwords for each account every time and help you resist the temptation to re-use the same password more than once.
  • Find out if any passwords used to access online accounts have been compromised. The Account Check feature within Kaspersky Security Cloud allows users to check their accounts for potential data leaks. If one is detected, the solution provides information about the categories of data that may be publicly accessible so that the individual affected can take the appropriate action.

For more advice on how to keep your personal information protected and to read the report in full, see the full report.

Published Wednesday, May 13, 2020 4:14 PM by David Marshall
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