) reported increase of 47% more breaches in the past year than the breaches reported
www.javelinstrategy.com ) reports that the number
of identity fraud victims has increased to 9.9 million adults in the United States
and costs totaled $48 billion in 2008.
People rely more and more on the Internet to access their online personalized web
based accounts to do online banking, shopping, sharing content, socializing and
managing e-mail accounts. Alphanumeric passwords currently handle most authentication
and identification tasks.
Text passwords are an imperfect solution from several aspects. People often use
obvious passwords in order not to forget them. Thus, people might commonly choose
the names of their children or their pet's name, possibly followed by a 0 or 1 or
the last 4 digits of their social security number. 123 or 1234 or 123456. Others
might "password" their favorite football team name, date of birth their wife or
their child's or use the words "god" "letmein" "money" "love". The obvious passwords
considered as a weak password that is either easy to guess or are easily hacked
with password generator programs.
On the other hand, strong passwords are passwords with a long set of characters
hard to guess. They contain numbers as well as letters in many cases. However, people
cannot reasonably remember random characters.
The more people use the internet, the more they open additional personal web based
accounts. Consequently, their lives on the Web become more transparent and vulnerable
to identity theft and data hacking. That would lead to the inevitable conclusion
that text passwords are not a strong enough watch dog for web based accounts where
private data is stored.