People Are Sick of Being Told to Change Their Passwords

By Gary Cutlack on at

We're a world that's had enough of being told what to do, particularly when it comes to endless advice to change passwords to keep our stuff secure. We're so bored, in fact, that when experts tell us to do it we don't bother. Making it worse.

The warning comes from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology, which says we've all got a bad case of "security fatigue" over all the hacks, the people telling us our passwords are rubbish, and the warnings that it all needs to be remembered and not left on a post-it note beside the computer.

NIST says we're starting to recycle passwords because remembering new ones all the time's getting a bit boring, with security report co-author Mary Theofanos saying it came to them as a bit of a shock just how fed up of it all people are. Theofanos explained: "We weren’t even looking for fatigue in our interviews, but we got this overwhelming feeling of weariness throughout all of the data. Years ago, you had one password to keep up with at work ... now people are being asked to remember 25 or 30. We haven’t really thought about cybersecurity expanding and what it has done to people."

It's turned us into risk-taking drones, Mary, people with PASSWORD as our passwords because we can't be bothered and don't even care if someone hacks our Facebook because it's all rubbish anyway. Something like that. [NIST via BBC]

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