Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Teenage password security: Risk of identity theft

Date:
April 25, 2013
Source:
Inderscience
Summary:
Many of us are sharing increasing amounts of personal information through online social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others. However, according to researchers, many of us are side-stepping apparently laborious security measures and putting our data at risk of being hijacked and used in identity theft and other fraud.

Many of us are sharing increasing amounts of personal information through online social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others. However, according to Charlott Lorentzen, Markus Fiedler and Henric Johnson of the Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Computing, in Karlskrona, Sweden, many of us are side-stepping apparently laborious security measures and putting our data at risk of being hijacked and used in identity theft and other fraud.

Writing in the International Journal of Communication Networks and Distributed Systems, the Swedish team points out that there are also more subtle risks associated with the carefree sharing of personal information, such as compromising situations potentially arising in both our private and professional lives should our data or the site on which it is hosted be accessed by malicious third parties.

At the forefront of the problem is the issue of using secure passwords. While no password can ever be 100 percent secure, annual surveys reveal that far too many users rely on simplistic names, dates, anniversaries and even plain dictionary words, like "password," and strings of numbers "123456" as their passwords because it is easier to remember. This, of course, provides a false sense of security when accessing some sites in which a simple brute-force attack on logins would quickly and easily expose the weakness in such passwords.

The Swedish team has surveyed teenage users of social media sites, the so-called digital natives born after the initial emergence into the mainstream of the internet, mobile computing and social media sites. They surveyed two groups: one at a secondary school and compared their password use with staff members at a technology institute. They also asked the teenagers about their perception of online safety and risk. The passwords and attitudes of 67 male and 70 female teenagers were analysed and data correlated with the students studying commerce, hotel and restaurant, natural science, and technology.

The team found that students on more technically oriented courses tended to have more sophisticated passwords, as one might expect, but few students used the same password for their Facebook and email accounts, which is a promising development compared with earlier surveys that showed many students use the same password on all systems. Previous surveys showed 75% of users duplicated passwords whereas the Swedish results suggest this is now about 40%. For staff at the Institute, duplication was 17%. "The order of magnitudes of all figures may suggest that many users do not prioritise their personal security on Facebook, and that more awareness would be needed to improve this situation," the team says.

"Our results indicate that bad password strategies may be 'taught away', or that there would be a point in having good password strategies and online safety taught in primary or secondary school to increase security awareness," the team concludes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Charlott Lorentzen, Markus Fiedler and Henric Johnson. On user perception of safety in online social networks. Int. J. Communication Networks and Distributed Systems, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2013

Cite This Page:

Inderscience. "Teenage password security: Risk of identity theft." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130425091350.htm>.
Inderscience. (2013, April 25). Teenage password security: Risk of identity theft. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130425091350.htm
Inderscience. "Teenage password security: Risk of identity theft." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130425091350.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microsoft Goes For Familiarity Over Novelty In Windows 10

Microsoft Goes For Familiarity Over Novelty In Windows 10

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — At a special event in San Francisco, Microsoft introduced its latest operating system, Windows 10, which combines key features from earlier versions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
French Apple Fans Discover the Apple Watch

French Apple Fans Discover the Apple Watch

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) — Apple fans in France discover the latest toy, the Apple Watch. The watch comes in two sizes and an array of interchangeable, fashionable wrist straps. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple Releases 'Shellshock' Fix Despite Few Affected Users

Apple Releases 'Shellshock' Fix Despite Few Affected Users

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — Apple released a security fix for the "Shellshock" vulnerability Monday, though it says only "advanced UNIX users" of OS X need it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins