Public opinions towards online security

Has online security gone too far? Or perhaps, not far enough… Most of the services we use are now available to access online. This means more subscriptions, and ultimately, more passwords.

But how safe are our details? Should we be worried about people forcing access to our private and confidential data? Are we likely to be hacked? Or are all these unnecessarily complicated passwords more of a hindrance than they’re worth?

Vox Pops took the matter to the masses to find out how people felt about their online security…

“We obviously need passwords, we need some way of keeping ourselves safe online.”

When addressing whether or not passwords were a necessary precaution, it was widely agreed that we should protect any data that is housed online. There was a more mixed response, however, when asking people how safe they felt their data actually was. Hacking and phishing have become increasingly common modern phenomena, so its not surprising some people felt wary of the potential threat.

The main issue that kept reoccurring, however, was the continual need to remember an increasing number of different passwords.

“it’s not difficult to choose one, it’s difficult to remember them”

Despite the widespread awareness of online threats, there was a resounding acknowledgement of how difficult it can be to keep track of your passwords.

“Over the years I’ve got hundreds of them, and to think to change them all again”

The average UK resident has 26 online profiles or accounts and uses a total of 5 passwords each. A third of the people we asked said they found it hard to stay on top of these often complex security measures.

It’s not just the quantity of passwords that seemed a pain either; the process of creating new logins also seemed a problem for many. Often, websites now require the user to add numbers or symbols to passwords for added security, but “the more you put, in the more likely your going to forget”.

Respondents also seemed unclear on the best method of devising a safe password, two people giving directly conflicting advice. One respondent even suggested that…

“Whether you’ve got the most secure password in the world, somebody will get by it” 

Could this be the case? Will password security ever be truly safe? And if not, are we wasting our time devising complicated and difficult to remember passwords. One lady thought it would be a lot easier, and potentially safer to use a fingerprint for online access.

Perhaps this is true. Either way, it would seem the public is in agreement that online hosts need to find a simpler and more secure method of protecting our data. In the meantime, Vox Pops International strongly recommends that you do use all available security measures to protect your data. If you’re unsure of how to choose a secure password, or want to check how safe your current passwords are, a good place to start is by using an online password security checker.

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