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Women more likely to give up passwords than men

The lure of chocolate is too great, according to a report from the latest Infosecurity Europe survey conducted in London.

Eskenzi PR

What would it take to get you give up your office network password to a total stranger? In London, women were more likely than men to give over their password for a piece of chocolate, says researchers for Infosecurity Europe.

The survey was conducted among 576 office workers contacted outside the Liverpool Street Station in London. The good news is that, overall, just 21 percent of those questioned would give up their password, with 45 percent of women saying yes versus 10 percent of men. Last year, 64 percent of people surveyed said were prepared to give away their passwords for a chocolate bar.

However, when the researchers also asked the office workers for their dates of birth to validate that they had participated in the survey, 61 percent complied with the request. "Our researchers also asked for workers names and telephone numbers so that they could be entered into a drawing to go to Paris. With this incentive 60 percent of men and 62 percent of women gave us their contact information", said Claire Sellick, event director for Infosecurity Europe.

And more than half the people questioned use the same password for multiple accounts. Most people in the survey used only one (31 percent), two (31 percent) or three (16 percent) password(s) at work, and 43 percent rarely or never change their password. Half in the survey said they knew their colleagues' passwords. And when asked if they would give their passwords to someone who phoned and said they were from the IT department, 58 percent said they would.

The report is conducted as part of the media campaign that precedes the annual Infosecurity Europe security conference, which takes place next week at the Grand Hall, Olympia, London, and runs from April 22 to 24, 2008.