Older people are better at picking passwords than youngsters

A surprise result from a recent survey has shown that the older you get, the more likely you are to have a secure password.

Joseph Bonneau, a computer scientist at the University of Cambridge, analysed the passwords of nearly 70 million Yahoo users and found that people over the age of 55 pick passwords double the strength of those chosen by people under 25 years old.

According to New Scientist,  Bonneau was not given access to the individual accounts but he calculated the password strengths for different demographic groups and compared the results.

Apparently Germans and Koreans choose the strongest passwords, while Indonesians pick the weakest.

So trying to guess the password from a German who remembers the war would probably require an Enigma machine.

Unsurprisingly, people who change their password from time to time tend to select the strongest.

Bonneau has the notion that user-chosen passwords offer less than 10 bits of security against online attacks, meaning it would only take around 1,000 attempts to try every possible password, and around 20 bits of security against offline attacks.

A randomly chosen six-character password composed of digits and upper and lower case letters should offer 32 bits of security.

The difference is caused by people picking much easier passwords than those theoretically allowed.

If people use a randomly chosen nine-digit numbers instead they would get 30 bits of security against every type of attack. He did not think this was difficult because people do it for phone numbers.