Ageing population? Our passwords are getting old even faster...

 
Catherine Neilan
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Passwords supposedly age 10-times the speed of humans (Source: Getty)
It's not just the UK's population that is ageing – our passwords are too.
Half of us use passwords that haven't been changed for more than five years, while a quarter have failed to update them in more than a decade, a new study has revealed.
And it seems it's mostly laziness that is stopping us from keeping our passwords up to date – 22 per cent of respondents said they thought they would forget the password, the same number that said it had been “overlooked”, although they knew it was important.
A fifth of people admitted they couldn't be bothered, while a further 16 per cent said they were asked to change their passwords too often.
“Passwords over a certain age should definitely be looking toward a comfortable retirement,” said mobile identitiy platform TeleSign, which carried out the research. It claims “password years” equal 10 normal years.
And the increasing number of PINs and other codes we need to access our personal information, emails, bank accounts and so on isn't helping.
We now have an average of 22 password-protected accounts, but on average we use just six passwords to keep them safe.
Millennials are playing even more fast and lose with their security though, using just five passwords on average, compared with people aged 70 and over, who have seven. A fifth of the population has three or fewer.
However this password fatigue is leaving us increasingly open to identity theft.
Chief executive Steve Jillings said: “We’ve seen the impact of the domino effect first hand. Following the recent hack of an online retailer’s customer database, our security team saw a massive increase in fraudulent activity with email providers. This spike in activity was the direct result of hackers taking advantage of the passwords they had stolen from one service to access another.”
But Britons are much less concerned about online security than their US counterparts – 35 per cent of people are “extremely or very concerned” about being hacked, compared with 56 per cent of Americans.

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