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Computer users still choosing obvious passwords

"Pet names and partner's nickname popular choices", says Visa research
Emma Nash, Computing 11 Aug 2004

Over three-quarters of internet users are persistently ignoring password best practice and use obvious passwords, research shows.

Just 22% of computer users chose a mixture of random letters and characters when selecting a password, according to figures from Visa.

The research shows that the bulk of computer users chose passwords that relate to friends, families, memorable dates, pets and nicknames.

A third of respondents said they only have one password for all their log-ins, while two per cent of internet users admitted to using the word 'password' as their password.

"Passwords are a simple, convenient way to control access to your account information, payment card transactions or log-in data, and, when used correctly provide the best guarantee for online security", said Hugo Bottelier, vice president of Visa Europe.

It is not surprising that loved ones and pet names top the most popular list as often people struggle to remember random characters or designated log-in codes and opt to chose their own.

"Of course, it is important that our passwords are personal and meaningful to us, but also that they are difficult to decipher and not easily guessed", he said.

When it comes to the most popular passwords in the UK, 22% chose random letters, 21% opt for a nickname or their partner's nickname, 15% go for birthdays or anniversaries, a further 15% chose pet names, while 14% prefer a family member's name.

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