With news of LulzSec and other hackers making off with passwords, and other attacks based around people’s GMail accounts, this recent survey from goo Research, reported on by japan.internet.com, into email passwords is rather timely. Note that I have previously translated an older survey into passwords.
Over the 31st of May and the 1st of June 2011 1,077 members of the goo Research online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 52.7% of the sample were male, 17.0% in their teens, 17.7% in their twenties, 21.4% in their thirties, 16.1% in their forties, 16.1% in their fifties, and 11.8% aged sixty or older.
I have absolutely no idea what my email passwords are! My Gmail ones are 20 characters long and randomly generated and managed by KeePass (fiddly to get the hang of, but this is a good tutorial) and my ISP one is the one they supplied, a 10 character mixed case alphanumeric one. My wife, without any training from me, keeps her in text files and uses a different one for each site, at least 8 characters long and a mix of usually names and semi-random numbers. Not the best of security, but at least she varies on every site, which in practise might actually provide more overall security than one big long one used everywhere.
First, the sample were asked how many mail accounts (both ISP-provided and web-based) they often used; 8.4% had five or more, 35.9% had two, and 31.0% had one, leaving up to 24.7% with either three or four; perhaps there were some with none, and some who had lost count.
Q1: How many email accounts (including both ISP-provided and web-based) do you often use? (Sample size=1,077)
Five or more (to SQs) 8.4% Three or four (to SQs) 22.7% Two (to SQs) 35.9% One (to SQs) 31.0% None 2.0%
Q1SQ1: How do you remember your email acocunt passwords? (Sample size=1,055, multiple answer)
Votes Percentage Memorise all of them 634 60.1% Write some, all down in a notebook, etc 424 40.2% Save some, all of them in browser, mailer 280 26.5% Write them on Post-It Notes stuck to the monitor 28 2.7%
Note that there was no “Other” answer reported, but the answer might have been offered.
Q1SQ2: What do you use for your email acocunt passwords? (Sample size=1,055, multiple answer)
Votes Percentage Date of birth or some form of it 213 20.2% Own name 174 16.5% Pet name 64 6.1% Child name 53 5.0% Telephone number 39 3.7% Spouse’s name 17 1.6% Address 134 12.7% Other family member’s name 12 1.1% None of the above 656 62.2%