Hackers Love Laziness: Advice on Cyber Security
6 August 2020
IN BRIEF: With the recent cyber-attacks on Australia from a foreign ‘state-based actor’, it has brought to the fore the fact that cyber-attacks are rife and cyber security is increasingly more important. Here we discuss reasons for widespread laxity in this area and advise on ways to ensure your organisation is not at risk.
When it comes to cyber-security, most of us make it way too easy for hackers – and neglect is the main reason. A recent survey by an IT company was conducted regarding password use in the workplace, and the results are a little disturbing.
The results found that:
- We Use the Same Password Again and Again: Humans are creatures of habit. We find a password that we like and we stick to it – in fact, 59% of those surveyed mostly or always use the same password.
- Our Brains are Oversaturated: We have enough to think about without having to remember passwords – which is why 64% of respondents said that having a password that’s easy to remember is most important. Fear of forgetting a password was the number one reason for reusing the same one.
- We Treat Work and Personal Security with the Same Indifference: 47% of respondents used the same password for both their personal and work accounts.
- Data Breaches Reported in the News Don’t Faze us: 53% of people didn’t change their password despite hearing about major data breaches in the news.
- A Personal Breach Doesn’t Even Faze us: 55% of those surveyed said they still wouldn’t change their password even if they knew they had been hacked.
- We Don’t Think We’re Hack-Worthy: 38% of people don’t believe their accounts are worthy of hacking into.
- We’re Just Plain Lazy: 39% of people said they wouldn’t change their password unless they were forced to.
What Should You Do?
- Use this link to check if your email address has been exposed in a data breach: haveibeenpwned.com/
- Use this link to check if your password has been exposed in a data breach: haveibeenpwned.com/Passwords
- If you are lucky enough to have not been exposed in a data breach, that doesn’t mean you should be complacent. Make a habit of changing your passwords at least once a year.
- As an example of ways to make a password more difficult to hack but easy to remember, try using 4 or 5 random words or a line from your favourite a song.
If you find that your personal passwords have been exposed in a data breach, change your passwords immediately.
If you find that the password you use for your work login has been exposed in a data breach, notify your ICT Manager immediately.
If you have any questions, please call (02) 9390 5255 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: CCER does not give legal advice and this information should not be taken as such.
Alex Taylor is the ICT Coordinator at CCER.