How people remember their online passwords

Kaspersky has released new research on how people keep safe online, revealing the good and bad password decisions users make.

The research showed that users tend to make one of three common password mistakes, which then put them at risk online.

The mistakes are:

  1. Using the same password for multiple accounts.
  2. Using weak passwords which are easy to crack.
  3. Storing passwords insecurely.

“Considering the amount of private and sensitive information that we store online today, people should be taking better care to protect themselves with effective password protection,” said Kaspersky.

The report stated that users are not as protective of their passwords “as they should be”.

“Just under a third (28%) has shared a password with a family member and one in 10 (11%) has shared a password with friends.”

Bad password habits

“Bad habits are also evident in how people remember their passwords – with over half (51%) relying on unsecure methods to do so,” said Kaspersky.

The company conducted a survey to find out how people stored their passwords, with the findings detailed in the table below.

The survey polled 12,546 people from 21 countries – including South Africa.

Methods used to store passwords
Methods Overall 16-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55 and Up
I remember passwords 53% 59% 56% 52% 52% 41%
In a notepad 22% 20% 21% 20% 25% 29%
On paper/sticker stored near the computer 11% 10% 11% 10% 12% 16%
Stored in the browser 11% 13% 12% 11% 10% 8%
Written down in a file on the computer 10% 10% 11% 10% 9% 9%
Stored on my smartphone 9% 13% 10% 10% 5% 2%
Stored by specialised software 7% 6% 8% 7% 5% 7%
I email passwords to myself 6% 7% 9% 7% 4% 2%
Stored in an online service 4% 6% 4% 5% 4% 2%
Other 4% 2% 2% 3% 5% 9%
Don’t know 7% 8% 8% 8% 6% 7%

Now read: Republicans also hacked by Russia

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How people remember their online passwords