Passwords: Proof that all humans are dull

Why pets and lovers are the limit of our imagination...

Why pets and lovers are the limit of our imagination...

It's official - most of us are really quite dull and unimaginative when it comes to passwords. Nicknames, pop stars, football teams - and that's about has far as it goes. Pets names are also an over-used favourite. But be warned - using your moggy's name as a password is just asking for trouble - especially if you do nothing but talk all day about "Buttons". As daft as it might sound, a recent survey by Orthus found "password" is an even more popular password. Is yours any better? In our defence, human memories are not equipped with the ability to remember complex mathematical patterns - just simple word associations. And although we remember pin numbers, lock combinations and phone numbers most of us have a deep fear of the digit-word combo password. But maybe it's time users were forced to stretch themselves. After all, it's clear human's are the weakest link when it comes to IT security. Richard Hollis, managing director of security specialist Orthus suggests that approaching passwords the same way you might a pair of knickers might just sort things out. He said: "Passwords are like underwear. You shouldn't leave them out where people can see them. You should change them regularly. And you shouldn't loan them out to strangers." The importance of passwords is often overlooked and users are allowed to get away with using the most easy-to-guess words. But they are, of course, as equally important as antivirus protection, for instance. The simplest act of social engineering, such as password guessing, could potentially expose a massive hole in the company's IT system allowing hackers in to do their dirty work. But it's never too late to change that ropey password. Go on - do it now. Put "Button" out of her misery. What are your worst password blunders? Tell us how many nicknames, star signs and pets you have used as passwords. Just how unimaginative have you been?