A new survey conducted by Check Point Software technologies suggests that weak passwords may be the number one contributing factor leading to identity theft and compromised online security.
"Especially now, with online shopping.
on the rise this holiday season, consumers need to be more aware of the importance of passwords and the fact that hackers are getting more and more sophisticated in cracking them," said Bari Abdul, vice president of consumer sales at Check Point. "By creating a unique password for each important account, consumers create the first line of defense against online thieves who can't wait to gain access to critical data for financial gain."
The report showed that 79 percent of consumers used risky practices to create passwords, such as using personal information or words found in the dictionary in their secret codes. Additionally, nearly 22 percent of those surveyed said they had at one time had their e-mail security hacked.
The Federal Trade Commission reports that approximately 9 million Americans fall victim to identity theft every year. Those who want to protect themselves by using a strong password should choose a code that is a mix of numbers, letters and special characters.