Cybercrime has been top-of-mind lately, with several breaches in 2017 putting the personal information and sensitive data of millions of Americans at risk. However, despite the increasing prevalence of cyber attacks and the growing number of individual victims, recent research has shown that most Americans aren’t following best practices in their digital lives.
According to the Pew Research Center, more than half of Americans — 64 percent — have experienced some data breach. Additionally, the center found that a substantial majority believes that major cyberattacks will be a “fact of life” in the future. With cybercrime so evident and top-of-mind, one would expect individuals to take deliberate steps in the own lives to protect against cybercrime.
However, according to a password security study conducted by Varonis, the opposite is actually true. The study, which surveyed 1,000 Americans about their security habits, found that most Americans are failing to follow best practices about one of the most basic aspects of cybersecurity: the password. In fact, 17 percent of Americans surveyed admitted to never updating their passwords.
Other insights from the study include:
- The majority of Americans — 51 percent — only change their passwords when they forget them
- Banking and loans passwords are the most often changed, at 29 percent
- 57 percent of people remember their passwords through memorization, and 11 percent write them down
- Only 7 percent of Americans use password management software to keep track of their passwords, despite that it’s the method most often recommended by cybersecurity professionals
In total, there is a major discrepancy between the real-life experiences of Americans with cybercrime and the way they act in their digital lives. To learn more about the password security habits of Americans, check out the infographic from Varonis below.
Please include attribution to Varonis.com with this graphic.