Human Resources News & Insights

Would you trade your password for a candy bar?

According to a recent poll, security controls at your company may not be that tough to get around.

Security firm Infosecurity Europe recently hired attractive, well-dressed agents to pose as market researchers. They went to a London train station and approached random commuters to coax them into providing computer passwords and other personal information, like birth dates (which many folks use for their passwords).

What would they get in return (besides a thank-you from an attractive person)? A candy bar.

Think no one bit? Think again:

  1. 21% of the participants gave a password, and
  2. 61% revealed their birth dates.

Some other findings from the survey:

  1. Over half of people said they use the same password for all their accounts
  2. Over half said they knew some of their co-workers’ passwords, and
  3. A third said they know their boss’s passwords, or how to find them.

The lesson: Employees with password-protected access to sensitive documents might need some extra training on the importance of keeping passwords secure.

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