New research into the password habits of over 8,000 individuals across the UK, France and Germany shows 75 percent of people don’t adhere to widely accepted password best practices, putting themselves at risk.
The study from Keeper Security shows 64 percent are either using weak passwords or repeat variations of passwords to protect their online accounts. More than a third of people also admit to feeling overwhelmed when it comes to taking action to improve their cybersecurity.
“In order to analyze people’s personal cybersecurity hygiene, we asked which animal they would identify with in regard to their cybersecurity behaviours,” says Darren Guccione, CEO and co-founder of Keeper Security. “With over one in four people describing themselves either as an ostrich burying their head in the sand, careless as a bull in a china shop or a possum paralysed with fear, the industry clearly still has much work to do to get more people comfortable with cybersecurity and better protected as a result.”
Among other findings are that 30 percent of people still use simple passwords to protect their digital accounts, while 34 percent admit to repeating variations of the same password. This is more worrying when 39 percent of respondents are unaware of whether they’ve been breached and 32 percent don’t know whether their passwords are available on the dark web.
While 41 percent of respondents say cybersecurity is too difficult to understand, it seems older generations are performing better. 29 percent of baby boomers use strong and unique passwords for every account, compared to only 20 percent of Generation Z respondents. Indeed Gen Z has the highest percentage of respondents saying they find cybersecurity overwhelming.
There’s a gender divide too, 39 percent of men say they are confident about password security compared to 31 percent of women.
“Password management does not need to be complex, overwhelming or difficult to understand even with a large number of digital accounts to secure,” says Craig Lurey, CTO and co-founder of Keeper Security. “Using a password manager is an ideal way for anyone to protect themself. Along with creating and storing strong and unique passwords for all digital accounts, a password manager can offer protection against phishing attacks and malicious links, because it will not fill credentials if the URL doesn’t match what’s in the user’s vault. A password manager can also be paired with dark web monitoring so users can stay abreast of all account information and take action immediately, if credentials are compromised.”
The full research is available from the Keeper site.