Money & Business

Study: 95 Percent of People Share Up To Six Passwords

By / Feb 23, 2016 (iStock/Thinkstock)

A survey of U.S. consumers found password sharing is common among a majority of people both at home and at work.

Do you keep your passwords on lock down, or do you openly share them with others?

If you’re like most people, you probably share passwords with family, friends, and coworkers, and you’re most likely sharing more than one password. A recent study from password management service LastPass found that 95 percent of people share up to six of their passwords.

Most people (76 percent) are sharing passwords with a spouse or significant other, but 22 percent share passwords with coworkers. The study also found that nearly 60 percent of people are reusing passwords (i.e., using the same password for more than one login), and 61 percent of respondents reported they are more likely to share work passwords than personal passwords.

That’s not to say people don’t understand the potential downsides of password sharing because 73 percent of respondents reported they are aware that sharing passwords is risky.

So then why are people divulging their passwords? In the office, it could be in case of an emergency, to allow multiple people access to a shared team account, or to delegate work to others.

Yet, as the number of cyberattacks and data breaches continues to grow, so too does the importance of password protection.

“You hear stuff that just curls your toes,” Tobin Conley, senior consultant, technology management, at DelCor Technology Solutions, told Associations Now of the mistakes association staff members make that can leave their organizations vulnerable to a data breach.

For example, Conley has heard of staff using overly simple passwords such as “1234” and saving passwords in unencrypted files in shared folders.

There are tools organizations can use that require employees set strong passwords, and some groups— such as web design firm Matrix Group International—delineate the steps employees are required to take to ensure password protection as part of a written data security policy.

Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. More »

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