76.6% of Costa Ricans use different passwords as a cyber security measure, as revealed by the Actualidades 2022 survey conducted by the University of Costa Rica (UCR).
This same study detailed that another measure has to do with avoiding the use of platforms in public access networks such as restaurants and parks (71.3%) and 58.9% also change their passwords at least once every three months.
Do not include personal data
Henry Lizano Mora, head of the UCR Information Center advised the population not to include personal data in passwords such as dates of birth, names of relatives or information related to place of residence.
Likewise, he informed that another measure when choosing a password is the length since the longer it is, the more difficult it will be to decipher it by artificial intelligence systems.
Not less than twelve characters
“One recommendation is that it should not be less than twelve characters. With this figure, a computer can last 200 years to crack a password by brute force and, when it cracks it, we will no longer be using it. We won’t even be alive,” said the expert.
Also, take into account that the ideal is to combine upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters such as the dollar sign, at sign, the numeral or another.
This same study also highlighted that 81.6% of those interviewed were very or somewhat concerned about being the victim of theft of money in their bank accounts.
“No significant differences were found by sex, age or subjective income. However, the greatest concern was in university and secondary school people, in which these differences were higher compared to those who had completed primary school or less”, explained Sebastián Varela, student researcher in charge of this section.
Trust in paper and memory
Trust in paper remains strong despite the digital age. This, since 30.1% prefer papers to store their passwords compared to 20.6% who keep them on their cell phones.Meanwhile, 9.5% use some specialized application or program to guard their passwords.
Of course, more than half of the population chooses to use the memory since 58.1% said they remember their passwords without having to save them on paper or on the phone. It should be noted that the survey report indicated that people could mention more than one method, therefore the percentages do not add up to 100%.
Using a secure password manager
Lizano recommended using a secure password manager. He informed about some free options.“Some of the most used and that we recommend are: DashLane, LastPass, OnePassword and KeePass Password. These are some, among many others, that we can certify because we have already tested them”, he stated.
On the other hand, he suggested not saving the passwords in the cell phone notes blog because it would be difficult to find or someone else could have access to the information.
The survey chose to ask questions related to this area after the Conti group entered the pages of public and private institutions in 2022 to obtain information such as personal data.
Despite this scenario, those surveyed showed confidence in state banks, particularly. Not so on pages of public institutions such as the Ministry of Finance.According to the University of Costa Rica, the percentages of trust shown by the survey were the following: Banco de Costa Rica (67.0%), BancoNacional (63.5%) and Banco Popular (61.9%).
Other public institutions also showed positive results. Among them is the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (64.2%) and the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (60.6%).
“The institutions that Ticos trust least are the Presidency of the Republic (51.4%), private banks (48.0%) and the Ministry of Finance (40.5%),” concluded Varela.The survey was carried out on 1,873 people over the age of 18, through telephone consultations.