Mar 12, 2009 12:04pm

You sign up for a new e-mail account or go online at your bank.  It asks you to make up a password.  "Passwords must be at least six characters, and contain at least one capital letter, one lower-case letter, and one numeral," it says. So you take the logical route: you use your dog’s name.  How many of us have passwords like "Fluffy1" for almost everything we do? According to a British computer-security firm called Sophos, about a third of people surveyed do the same thing.  Probably for years.  More HERE.

Sophos’ survey may be self-serving — their business depends on people’s sense of vulnerability online — but they have a point.  Most of us get by just fine, but every now and then something like THIS happens: some inventive crook out there who writes a computer virus or "Trojan Horse" to gather up bank passwords and send them to a server in Russia. (And don’t think you’re safe if you use Firefox or have a Mac; the case above WAS a Firefox breach.) On the other hand, says the survey, 19 percent of respondents take their security very seriously, and use different passwords every time they need to make one up.  Their risk of identity theft goes down, but it’s not much of a way to live. 

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