Passwords and their psychology

Towards the end of each year, specialists conduct studies to ascertain the behavior of users of various gadgets. One of the most frequent and fascinating topics they study is human behavior when it comes to password creation and general password use. It has been shown throughout the years that despite years of teaching on the significance of password strength and security, people’s password choices are often extremely hackable.

A study conducted at the end of last year showed that the most common passwords are still “123456” and “password.” It seems as if individuals are selecting an easy-to-remember password and continuing to use it across many accounts and profiles. The dread of forgetting a password and being unable to access a particular account is much higher than the need for passwords to be safe.

The desire for individuals to choose the simplest and easiest passwords is reasonable, given the fact that our contemporary lifestyles need a large number of passwords. We use passwords for a variety of reasons—to access our bank accounts, social media accounts, and other online services, or just to open our laptops and mobile phones. However, choosing a weak password may be a critical error, paving the way for a variety of thefts and identity fraud.

On the other hand, individuals may choose complex passwords but then reuse them across many accounts. In this instance, if a person uses a password in this way, a hacker only has to compromise one device or password—and he may then access a string of accounts, including the most secure and valuable financial services. If he succeeds, he exposes a person to impersonation; a hacker may then establish false accounts in the victim’s name or gather all of the victim’s personal information.

Although hacker assaults are increasing in frequency as a result of bad user behavior and password use, individual password behavior seems to have remained static and is nowhere near safe. Users’ conduct has been consistent over time, and some minor hazardous behavior has been observed. According to the study, more than half of respondents would change their password only if their account was stolen, while the other half did not establish separate passwords for personal and professional accounts, instead of using the same password across the spectrum.

Additionally, there is psychology involved in the selection of a password. According to experts, people can be classified into various genres based on how they choose a password for their account or device. There are “family-oriented” individuals who choose their name, nickname, or the name of a child, partner, or pet, as well as their birth date. Due to their strong familial ties, they choose passwords with emotional significance. There is a group of people referred to as “fans” who use the names of singers, movie stars, fictional characters, and sports figures as their own. These are typically young people, and they wish to connect in some way with the people they care about. There are even individuals who use terms such as “sexy” and “goddess”—typically male—to express their interest in the other sex. Finally, there are the so-called “cryptics,” who create passwords using a random string of numbers, letters, symbols, or a combination of all of them. Their passwords are usually the most secure ones.

Nowadays, there is an application which is called “password manager”. It is a simple-to-use software program that tracks and then saves your passwords securely. This could be an excellent solution for those who are tired of creating new passwords but still want to maintain a level of security. It may be very beneficial for those who want to avoid the effort of setting unique passwords for all their accounts. Additionally, for those who are unwilling to change their passwords until they are hacked, this is an excellent option.

In any event, unless the individual is at grave risk of being hacked and losing personal information and connections, they are unlikely to realize how a simple change in their frequently used passwords may be very beneficial. It is a preventative step that we must take, despite the fact that it is regular, since it is better to be safe than sorry. Additionally, one countermeasure is to refrain from sharing passwords with friends, family, or coworkers. Even if we trust the individuals with whom we want to exchange passwords, we have no way of knowing if our password will be used on a less secure device or even kept in readily accessible files. As a precautionary measure, do not write down your passwords either! When we have difficulty remembering a particular password string, we prefer to write it down. Nevertheless, this critical error may result in the paper being lost or falling into the hands of a bad person. Additionally, individuals may employ mnemonics—encoding the initial letters of their password or substituting numbers or symbols for letters. These passwords are unique and personal, making them very difficult to crack.

To establish a strong and secure password—and therefore provide the required security—nearly all of the items mentioned above must be followed. However, do not forget the most critical one—the security of your password is directly related to the security of your whole store of personal data and information, and unless you want to experience the terrible sensation of losing it all in a single instant, the time for password reset is now!

Found this useful? Share with