Monday, August 6, 2007

I hate Passwords #10

From IP: link here
What I think needs to be done is that the public needs to be educated about these sites, and the security risk they pose.
The "public" is already being educated. We tell them over and over that they should not share their password with anyone. The problem is that the public gives up their password all too easily. We can keep blaming the public, and we will, but we should also try to understand why someone will give up their Yahoo (or other service) password easily, while the same person would never share their ATM PIN.

I think the public is pretty smart, but they learn best when they experience immediate consequences from their actions. Right now, I know that identity theft and losses from this behavior are at a tolerable level because most of the public are still willing to give their password away -- where the same public will never forgot to lock their car door at the shopping mall parking lot.

If the consequences (or at least people's awareness of these consequences) get a lot worse, we will either see a change in behavior or the deployment of technologies to eliminate reliance on passwords (tokens, client-side certificates ...).

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