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So just how safe is your Apple.com account from intruders? Pretty darn safe, according to Dashlane (via Ars Technica), at least if you're talking about password protection. Dashlane studied the password protection policies of over 100 companies ranging from Microsoft to Dick's Sporting Goods, and found that only Apple deserved a perfect score of 100.
That's big news, considering that the tied runners-up — Newegg, Microsoft, and Chegg — all only managed a measly score of 65. Dashlane's Personal Data Security in E-Commerce Security Roundup (which you can read in a PDF format here), judged the policies by 24 different criteria that covered everything from action after multiple failed attempts to discouraging weak passwords.
Source: Dashlane [PDF]
Well-known names like Toys 'R' Us, American Girl, and Dick's Sporting Goods took up spots at the bottom of the list, while 1-800-FLOWERS came in dead last with a score of -46. Along with 55 percent of the other companies covered, these sites allowed cheap passwords like "123456," and 51 percent of them didn't block access after 10 attempts.
Dashlane stated that Apple shows that tough measures don't have to be cumbersome. In their words, "Some retailers may argue that such requirements impede user convenience, but companies such as Apple, arguably the most famous brand on the list, have shown that it is possible to be both secure and successful. In every category we tested, Apple implemented the 4 simple policies and procedures we recommend above. These policies resulted in the company being awarded the only perfect score in the study." Of course, Ars Technica pointed out some of the flaws in the study, such as how it didn't cover whether sites like Apple allow resets with security questions or whether they allow password access through unencrypted HTTP password connections. Even so, it's another reason to be happy when Apple asks you to come up with passwords containing bits like one lowercase letter, one capital letter, and one number. It's only looking out for you.
Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.