Sunday, 27 July 2008

Good Bless the Daily Mail

In the Mail on Sunday's Live Magazine there was a wonderful survey about the most popular passwords.

I have two thoughts about this firstly – how did they find the information?

I pray it was a street interview:

Interviewer – Good Afternoon. Do you have a spare 5 minutes to answer a survey?
Interviewee – Sure
Interviewer – Firstly what password do you use?
Interviewee – Er, I’m not supposed to tell people that.
Interviewer – Don’t worry it’s just a short survey that will appear in a nation newspaper
Interviewer – That’s OK then. It’s 123.
Interviewer – Next Question, what’s your email address?

Secondly it’s about the bias in the sample. The people silly enough to give out their passwords will be the only passwords included. I notice that “NCC-1701” was not included and anyone with a computer education can tell you the importance of that code. I know this is a common password as I have used it myself on many occasions to access files and other information.

My main problem with any survey of this type is the inherent bias in the sample, in this case to people with lax computer security. Have some fun and try to find other surveys which are misleading, but for other reasons.

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