Most would reveal their computer passwords

Computer
security remains lax, with a new survey showing that most office workers would
give away their computer passwords in exchange for a cheap pen.

The
survey, by Infosecurity Europe 2003, found that 90 per cent of office workers
at Waterloo Station gave away their computer password for a pen, compared with
65 per cent last year.

Men
were slightly more likely to reveal their password with 95 per cent of men and
85 per cent of women revealing their password. The study also found the
majority of workers would take confidential information with them when they
changed jobs and would not keep salary details confidential if they came across
them.

Workers
were asked a series of questions which included what is your password, to which
75 per cent immediately gave their password. If they initially refused, they
were asked which category their password fell into and then asked a further
question to find out the password. A further 15 per cent then revealed their
passwords.

One
interviewee said, “I am the CEO, I will not give you my password it could
compromise my company’s information”. He later said that his password was his
daughters name, what is your daughters name was the interviewer’s cheeky
retort, he replied “Tasmin” without thinking.

Of
the 152 office workers surveyed many explained the origin of their passwords,
such as "my name: Cynthia”, “my football team: Arsenal”, ”my car:
Celica", "my pet’s name: Dibbles", “my date of birth”. The most
common password was “password” (12 per cent) and the most popular category was
their own name (16 per cent) followed by their football team (11 per cent) and
date of birth (8 per cent).

By Quentin Reade

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