London, Dec 25 (IANS) Very few of the online giants give detailed guidance about the importance of providing secure passwords when users create or update accounts, shows research.
"In the seven years of conducting this study, there has not been the level of improvement one might have expected," said lead researcher and professor Steven Furnell from Plymouth University in Britain.
For the study, researchers focused on 10 websites featured in the top 30 places of the global Alexa rankings - Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Twitter, Amazon, Microsoft Live, LinkedIn, Wordpress.com and Pinterest.
The analysis of password security control measures in place showed that majority of the companies also provided little or no information about the reasons why password protection is important.
While some did make suggestions about best practice, very few went on to enforce their own advice.
Websites like Amazon and LinkedIn were found to be raising awareness for better password practices among their users.
"If these companies and others were to include simple explanations about enhancing password security and some better enforcement of good practice, the extent of our collective online security could be dramatically improved," Furnell added.
The study appeared in the journal Computer Fraud and Security.