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Passwords are flawed, but they can be used for decades.Here’s Why You Should Review Yours

It could be your pet’s name, your child’s name, your favorite TV show’s name, or something more obscure, but for most people, having to remember (and sometimes failing to) passwords is extremely frustrating. It’s a familiar ritual.

Since the Optus breach, the millions of Australians directly or indirectly affected have had to reflect on cybersecurity and how safe they are from threats such as identity fraud.

Passwords weren’t among the customer details leaked as part of the data breach, but experts say weak or repeated passwords can put people at risk, especially since fraud is on the rise. It said it could leave them vulnerable.

In some instances, other technologies have already begun to replace passwords, but they are projected to stay with us for decades.

We asked experts about the main problems with passwords and how technologies like passkeys will play a big role in the future of cybersecurity.

What’s wrong with your password?

The main drawback of passwords is that people tend to choose easy, obvious combinations and use the same ones on many sites.

The list of most commonly used passwords in 2021 included 123456, qwerty, and the word password itself most commonly used.

Billions of passwords are already available online, said Paul Haskell Dowlan, a cybersecurity professor at Edith Cowan University.

Paul Haskell-Dowland hopes the Optus breach will make people think about cybersecurity.(attached)

He said that when people choose a password to use on a particular site, a copy is stored on a remote server.

Professor Haskell Dowlan said, “If the site is compromised and the data is extracted, that password will be known to a third party, and if published in a public forum, it will be seen by thousands or millions of people online.” may be known,” he said.

“Hackers assume that many people still use the same password on multiple websites, so they take that password and try it on hundreds of other websites.”

He said that using a password manager is a good way to keep track of unique passwords on dozens of sites, and that the increasing use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) is helping people improve their online security. said.

MFA is a security measure that requires two or more proofs of identity such as a PIN, SMS or email to allow access to a site.

But Professor Haskell-Dowlan says that even though MFA has been around for years, only “a small percentage” of websites use it.

He said one of the “positives” of the data breach might be “getting more people talking about cybersecurity.”

How are passwords related to Optus compromises?

Passwords may not be part of Optus data breachbut ignoring them can still cause serious problems and leave people vulnerable.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-10-03/optus-data-breach-and-the-weakness-of-passwords/101484432 Passwords are flawed, but they can be used for decades.Here’s Why You Should Review Yours

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