Research by Kaspersky has found that the vast majority of South African users think up their own passwords rather than using a password manager.
The study found that 87% of South African users think up their own passwords while 72% are unaware of how to check if any of their credentials have been compromised.
Kaspersky said these findings highlight the need for storing passwords more securely.
Passwords are the most common method of authentication, but they only work if they are hard to crack and confidential, Kaspersky said.
It added that it can be difficult to come up with a complex password and remember it – especially if you need to change your passwords regularly.
“In addition to this challenge of creativity for users, it’s becoming more vital to store passwords securely and look out for possible instances when these credentials could be leaked,” the company said.
How South Africans remember passwords
When it comes to remembering their passwords, a startling number of South Africans claim to simply remember all of their passwords – indicating that they are either unsecure or re-used often.
63% of South Africans claim they remember all of their passwords and 10% 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.
Kaspersky noted that there are a number of ways to check whether your password has been leaked, including services such as the Have I Been Pwned database.
“Consumers can monitor the spread of personal data, including which passwords might have been leaked,” said Kaspersky head of product marketing Marina Titova.
“And this is not only for the sake of ‘just being aware’; it also allows individuals to take the right action to minimise any invasion of privacy – along with any wider consequences.”
To ensure the safety of personal data, Kaspersky recommends the following:
- Minimise 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.
- Use strong and robust passwords generated by a reliable security solution like Kaspersky Password Manager.
- Find out if any passwords used to access online accounts have been compromised.