Microsoft provides advice on passwords

Industry News By Josanne Griffin-Mason, 16th July 2014

Microsoft has revealed that we should be using weak passwords for websites that are not holding valuable information.

Microsoft say that we should focus on using secure passwords for high value websites such as banking and e-commerce and think less about the passwords for individual websites.

Dinei Florêncio and Cormac Herley from the Redmond-based software company and Paul C van Oorschot from Carelton University in Canada, argue that password managers introduce more problems with their passwords.  They usually set up a random unique based password which can create two issues: users easily forget or lose this password or the cloud service that hosts their password could be hacked.

“The rapid decline of password complexity as recall difficulty increases suggests that, far from being unallowable, password re-use is a necessary and sensible tool in managing a portfolio,” they wrote.

The study suggests that users should pick and re-use passwords that are easy to remember for ‘low-risk’ websites in order to maximise the ability to recall complex passwords for ‘high-risk’ ones.

A poll by Experian found that the average Brit used 26 accounts online yet many used the same 5 passwords over and over, some users even used the same password for all their accounts which is extremely irresponsible.