Internet users still using same password for all Web sites

Sophos is reporting that the results of one of their online surveys show that only 19 percent of those who took it are properly using passwords. Properly, meaning using separate passwords for most of the sites they need to log in to.

However, the downside to these numbers is that they are based on a small sample -- quantify them and assume a few things, and they are downright scary.

The survey offered by Sophos was taken by 676 people. Of those users who took the survey, 48 percent said they “use a few different passwords,” while 33 percent said “Yes all the time”, and 19 percent said “No never," when asked, “Do you use the same password for multiple websites?”

So let’s play with these numbers by nit-picking on the 33 percent who use the same password for everything. There are 303,824,646 people in the United States, based on a 2008 U.S. Census. Of that number, 72.5 percent of them are online, that’s 220,141,969 Internet users (source:

If the Internet users in the U.S. took the Sophos survey with the same responses, yielding the same statistical breakdown, then 72,646,850 users are using the same password day in and day out on every site that requires one. That number is far more frightening than 223, which equates to the number people who make up the 33 percent in the Sophos survey.

If you altered the hypothetical numbers even more, replacing the 33 percent with seven percent, then that means 15,409,940 Internet users surf the Web using the same password for everything, still a frightening and awful number. What if you take it down next to nothing, to one percent, a single percent of Internet users in the U.S., that number is still a frighteningly high 2,201,420 users.

The good news is those numbers are hypothetical. The bad news is they are still legitimate in point, as users do use the same password for everything, and some are willing to admit it. The reasoning for their risky password behavior is unknown. Most have the mental block of, “no one cares about my online account,” or, “it can’t happen to me,” which they backup with arguments of, “I’ve been online for years with no problems,” forgetting that it only takes that one time.

“With social networking and other internet accounts now even more popular, there's plenty on offer for hackers and by using the same password to access Facebook, Amazon and your online bank account, you're making it much easier for them,” said Graham Cluley of Sophos. “Once one password has been compromised, it's only a matter of time before the fraudsters will be able to gain access to your other accounts and steal information for financial gain.”

There are lots of tricks and tips for password management. However, the worst advice is to use dictionary words, no matter the language. Small passwords are a no-no as well, simply because with them you have no complexity and they are too easy to crack.

“It's easy to understand why computer users pick dictionary words as they're much easier to remember,” continued Cluley

“A good trick is to pick a sentence and just use the first letter of every word to make up your password. To make it even stronger, you can replace words like 'for' for the number 4, and this should give you peace of mind that your password won't be guessed,” he added. 

“While there's still the issue of having to remember multiple passwords, there are some good password management systems that will encrypt all your passwords and only allow you to access them with the master password - of course, it's essential that this password is as strong as possible.”

For some extra tips and tricks see the articles below.

The Tech Herald: Do you use any of these passwords? Change them if you do

The Tech Herald: Personal information and how to protect it

The Tech Herald: Passwords - friend or foe?

The Tech Herald: The mental blocks of security

The Tech Herald: Security myths you should know

Like this article? Please share on Facebook and give The Tech Herald a Like too!

From our Other Sites

Man Makes Tiny Edible Pancakes with Tiny Kitchen Tools (Video)

This Japanese guy cooks up some pancakes…nothing special there right? Well he uses tiny implements to do it and makes perfect little pancakes. Kinda cool and they look tasty!

What Color is this Dress?

White and Gold or Blue and Black?
Well this one has been trending all over the web, just what color is this dress? It all started in Scotland when the mother of a bride-to-be sent a picture to her daughter asking what she thought of the dress. The bride and groom each saw the image differently, this then got posted online and picked up by some viral sites. The lighting in photo is probably  causing different people to see it as either white and gold or blue and black. Prof Stephen Westland, chair of color science and technology at a University in the UK told the BBC that it was impossible to see what other people see but that it was most […]

McLaren 675LT Pictures

Some great shots of the forthcoming McLaren 675LT. This coupe will get you to 60mph in less than 2.9 second and go all the way to 205mph.

McLaren 675LT Details

McLaren’s 675LT will debut at this year’s Geneva show and promises some eye-popping performance. The coupe only 675LT has a 3.8 liter V8 that will get you from 0-60mph in less than 2.9 seconds and to 124mph in less than 7.9 secondsMore than a third of the parts have been changed compared with its stable mate […]

McLaren 675LT Wallpaper

Some cool McLaren 675LT Wallpaper. The McLaren 675LT is the latest coupe to come from the supercar maker and has a top speed of 205mph.Click on an image to open a page with multiple sizes that you can download to use as wallpaper for your mobile or desktop.More McLaren Wallpaper.

Octopus hunts on land, grabs crab (Video)

This crab is minding its own business searching the rock pools for food when suddenly an octopus leaps out of the water and grabs it. The amazing thing is that the octopus does not just jump on the crab it actually pulls it all the way back to the rock pool it came from. If you check the second video you will see it is not unknown for octopus to come out of the water and the one in the second video has a crab with it, though is not hunting one! Octopus Walks on Land at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve The video was taken by Porsche Indrisie in Yallingup, Western […]

Stunning Mars Rover Selfie

This image by the Curiosity Mars rover is not exactly your typical selfie. It is made up of a bunch of images taken by the rover during January 2015 by the Mars Hand Lens Imager. This (MAHLI) camera is at the end of the robot’s arm. For a sense of scale the rover’s wheels are about 20 inches diameter and 16 inches wide. Check the annotated image below for more information on the surroundings. Also if you really want to see some detail click this very large image, 36mb, at NASA.  

How the Sahara Helps Feed the Amazon (Video)

Sahara to Amazon
This cool video from NASA shows how dust is transferred across the Atlantic to the Amazon rainforest and helps nourish the plants growing there. For the first time scientists have measured the amount of dust and the amount of phosphorus in the dust. The later acts like a fertiliser and helps replenish the phosphorus the rainforest loses each year, around 22,000 tons. Amazing how something we perceive as being desolate like a desert actually has an important role in sustaining somewhere we see as teeming with life. Image and video from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Bouncing Laser Guided Bomb (Video)

This amazing video shows a laser guided bomb bouncing back up after hitting its target. We actually think this is a non-explosive bomb designed to test guidance systems but it is still pretty remarkable and somewhat scary.

South Koreans Swallowed by Sinkhole (Video)

Thankfully the couple survived their adventure.
This amazing footage taken from the CCTV on a passing bus shows the moment two pedestrians in South Korea fall down a sinkhole in the street! Rescue workers managed to save the pair, who were treated in a nearby hospital for minor injuries. According to reports the city authorities and the Korean Geotechnical Society are looking into the cause.