Your password is MeowsterDefender: Study suggests not using your pets as passwords. 

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According to a study by Telstra and YouGov, 46 percent of Australians use passwords containing either their favourite sports team, birthday or the name of their beloved pet. 

In addition to the recent concerns raised in Australia over password security, it is worth noting that Canadians also face similar challenges when it comes to online password security. While specific data regarding Canadians’ password practices may vary, it is evident that many individuals in Canada exhibit similar complacency and risky behaviour.

The global rise in cyber-attacks and hacking incidents is a clear reminder that password security is paramount. Like their Australian counterparts, a significant portion of Canadians tends to reuse passwords across multiple accounts, putting themselves at greater risk. This practice leaves individuals vulnerable to exploitation by criminals who exploit this typical behaviour.

In line with the Telstra study, Canadians likely also employ easily guessable passwords, such as their pet’s name, generic words, or predictable sequences like “123456.” These practices undermine the effectiveness of passwords as a security measure. Moreover, individuals of all age groups, including Generation Z and millennials, may neglect proper password management and fail to set secure passwords.

Canadian organizations, internet service providers, and government agencies must prioritize and promote online security measures. Similar campaigns and initiatives, like Telstra’s Be SUSS campaign, can be implemented in Canada to raise awareness and educate the public about the importance of strong passwords, regular software updates, and multi-factor authentication.

Password manager apps, widely available in Canada, offer a viable solution for securely creating and storing complex passwords. Encouraging unique and memorable passphrases, incorporating capital letters and special characters, can significantly enhance password strength and protection.

Concerning reported scam incidents in Canada, individuals must remain vigilant and promptly report any suspicious activities to relevant authorities. Canadians should be advised against carrying written passwords outside their homes and cautioned against sharing passwords with untrusted individuals, as these actions increase the risk of unauthorized access to personal accounts.

In summary, while specific data on Canadian password practices vary, the concerns regarding complacency and vulnerable password security practices extend beyond Australia. Promoting robust password protection, implementing multi-factor authentication, and educating the public on safe online practices are essential steps toward enhancing cybersecurity for Canadians.

It’s important to note that using pet names or personal information as passwords is generally not recommended for security reasons. 

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Terry Cutler

I’m Terry Cutler, the creator of Internet Safety University, an educational system helping to defend corporations and individuals against growing cyber threats. I’m a federal government-cleared cybersecurity expert (a Certified Ethical Hacker), and the founder of Cyology Labs, a first-line security defence firm headquartered in Montréal, Canada. In 2020, I wrote a bestselling book about the secrets of internet safety from the viewpoint of an ethical hacker. I’m a frequent contributor to National & Global media coverage about cyber-crime, spying, security failures, internet scams, and social network dangers families and individuals face daily.