16 April 2008

Women four times more likely than men to swap passwords for chocolate

Women are far more likely to give away their passwords to total strangers than their male counterparts, according to a survey by Infosecurity Europe.

Fully 45% of women, as opposed to just 10% of men, did so for individuals masquerading as market researches – with the lure of a chocolate bar for completing the survey.

The survey was conducted outside Liverpool Street Station in the City of London among office workers, with 576 people taking part.

Interestingly though, this year’s results were significantly better than those from previous years. In 2007 64% of people were prepared to give away their passwords for chocolate. This year it had dropped to 21%.

However, researchers also discovered that more than half of people questioned use the same password for everything – work, banking, web and so on.

“This research shows that it’s pretty simple for a perpetrator to gain access to information that is restricted, by having a chat around the coffee machine, getting a temporary job as a PA or pretending to be from the IT department,” says Claire Sellick, event director, Infosecurity Europe.

Staff reporter

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