With the number of data breaches rising to alarming levels over the past couple of years, we here at RoboForm recently sponsored a survey via uSamp, which polled 1,000 random people in the US and UK about their password security practices. While we expected to find that many of those surveyed did not practice proper password security, we were surprised by many of the results.
Over the next couple of weeks, we are going to be sharing some of the most interesting (and sometimes disturbing) trends that we discovered when analyzing the results of this survey, along with our recommendations to make yourself more secure online.
Part 1: Personal Security Issues
1. How often do you log out of websites when you are done using them?
Based upon the survey results, only 24% of people responded that they always log out of websites when they are done using them. This obviously opens people up to having their personal information compromised, whether it be on a shared public computer or on their personal devices.
Recommendation: Make sure to always log out of websites when you are done using them, even if it’s on your mobile device or work computer.
2. How often do you have your browser remember passwords for you?
This is a hidden danger that many people do not know about. While it may seem convenient to allow your browser to save your passwords, it actually presents a pretty serious security risk. Not only can your browser be infected with Malware that can compromise your passwords, but quite often browsers store your password data in plain text. This leaves your personal data completely unprotected and susceptible to hackers.
Recommendation: Never allow your browser to store your passwords for you!
3. What techniques do you use to remember your passwords? Select all that apply.
What jumped out at us the most from the above responses was that 42% of people indicated that they wrote down their passwords and 23% indicated that they always use the same password. Along with using personal information and saving them in a document, these are very dangerous practices that can cause your personal data to be compromised.
Recommendation: Be like the 8% of respondents and use a password manager!
4a. On average, how many different websites or applications do you log into each day?
4b. How many different passwords do you use?
The responses to these two questions show that, while 74% of people log into 6 or more sites or applications on an average day, only 41% use 6 or more unique passwords.
Recommendation: In order to better protect yourself online, it’s best that you use a unique (and strong) password for each website or application that you log into. That way, if one of your passwords or logins is compromised, your others will not be at risk.
Remember to join us next week for Part 2, where we’ll discuss responses related to time management and corporate security.