• Typical password of UK tech professionals only 11 characters long - rather than 18

On average, tech professionals in the UK use an 11 digit password, according to tech recruiter Randstad UK.

In a poll of approximately 400 tech professionals, more than three-quarters (77 per cent) said they typically use passwords with fewer than 14 characters, while only 10 per cent use passwords of more than 24 characters.

Adrian Smith, senior director of operations at Randstad said: “Cyber hygiene is a problem.  While you expect “123456”, “qwerty” and “password” to be the most popular choices with people who aren’t tech literate, you’d hope tech professionals would be making better password choices.”

Randstad UK says tech users need to create longer passwords to protect their online security.  A good password does not need to be particularly complex; the UK National Cyber Security Centre and the US National Institute of Standards and Technology  indicate that increasing password length is more important than requiring upper and lower case letters, numbers and punctuation symbols.  Longer passwords are more resistant to brute force cracking and can be easier to remember.  

Hive Sys­tems says a six character password, regardless of whether numbers and letters are included, can be cracked in 39 minutes. The cyber security firm recom­mends using an 18-char­ac­ter pass­word.

Dr Steven Furnell, professor of cyber security at Nottingham University says: “Combining three random words to give yourself longer but more memorable passwords, and saving your passwords securely in your browser to further reduce the burden of remembering passwords across multiple sites.”

Adrian Smith concluded: “If you’re responsible for running a site, check what it permits and see if it should do better.  If your system accepts the likes of “123456”, “qwerty” or “password”, rethink it.  If it lets weak passwords pass, then either change it, or at a minimum do something that tries to deter users from choosing them.  Don’t impose upper limits on the length of passwords and, ideally, put processes in place to filter out poor passwords.”

– ENDS –

Notes to editors

Security experts have found chief exec­ut­ives are still using easy-to-crack pass­words.  Ana­lysis of mil­lions of data breaches showed that bosses most com­monly used ‘123456’, ‘pass­word’ and ‘qwerty’.  Pass­word man­age­ment firm Nord­Pass ana­lysed 290mil­lion data breaches across the world.  Daily Mail, 04 May 2022, The password of choice for top bosses is... 123456

More Information:  James@AirCoverPR.co.uk / 079 0320 7726

About Randstad: Founded in 1960, Randstad is the world's largest provider of recruitment and HR services (by revenue, gross profit, and market share), employing more than 40,000 people in 5,000 locations.  In 2021, it generated revenue of almost €25 billion last year across 38 markets.  Last year, Randstad helped more than two million candidates to find a job; trained over 450,000 people; and advised 235,000 clients on various aspects of their HR strategy - from talent acquisition to total workforce management.