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Tenth International Symposium on Human Aspects of Information Security & Assurance (HAISA 2016)
Title: Comparing Student Password Knowledge and Behaviour: A Case Study
Author(s): Damian Todd Fredericks, Lynn Ann Futcher, Kerry-Lynn Thomson
Keywords: Password management, password knowledge, password behaviour
Abstract: Passwords have been around for a long time, but today more than ever, users have to remember many passwords for different accounts As a result, users tend to create simple passwords to access their accounts. When users create simple passwords they do not realise the possible repercussions that may arise. Statistics show that many data breaches have happened over the years because of poor password management. This paper discusses the importance of good password management. Passwords go through a lifecycle including creation, storage, maintenance and deletion. At each phase of the lifecycle, users should understand what is required to ensure good password management. In addition, this paper provides the results of a survey carried out at a university in South Africa. The survey took the form of a questionnaire and was distributed to Information Technology students ranging from 1st to 4th year. The aim of the survey was to determine student knowledge and their behaviour with regards to password management. The results and findings from the survey indicated that the respondents are educated with regards to good password management. However, it was discovered that not all users are putting that knowledge into practice, which highlights a significant vulnerability regarding their password behaviour.
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