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In conjunction with Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a new report by Security.org finds that 68% of Americans use the same password across accounts.
This isn’t the only disturbing password statistic: More than one in three of Americans (37%) also share passwords with others — up 25% from last year. That rise may be due to increased sharing of streaming services’ login information. Research found about 88 million accounts are “borrowed” from people outside the account holder.
While the report also found nearly 40% of more than 1,000 U.S. adults’ passwords have been hacked, and less than half feel very confident in the security of their passwords, there were encouraging security measures that took place in the past year.
Notably, 85% are now employing two-factor authentication, adding a layer of online security to their passwords. In addition, the use of password generators nearly doubled year-over-year, from 15% to 27%, and password management services or browser vaults increased by 10%.
Furthermore, Americans have ditched shorter passwords of fewer than eight characters, with 84% using at least eight. However, more than half use familiar names in their passwords, such as their own name, their children’s names, or their pet’s names. Using familiar names makes hackers’ work easier, as greater portions of users’ personal, professional, and financial lives transpire online.
Americans have a lot to learn about managing passwords. After all, the most used password in the U.S. is “123456,” which can be cracked in less than a second.
Read the full report by Security.org.
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