Despite the vast majority of people – 89% – knowing the risks of reusing the same password, 62% of consumers are still choosing to use repeat passwords, according to new research from LastPass.
In addition, the report found that only 12% of respondents use different passwords for different accounts.
The survey, which explored the password security behaviors of 3,750 professionals across seven countries, quizzed respondents about their mindsets and behaviors surrounding online security.
Who are the worst offenders?
While Gen Z is the most confident regarding their password management, on average describing their password methods to be “very safe”, they are also the biggest offenders in terms of poor password hygiene.
Though Gen Z is most likely to recognize that using the same or similar password for multiple logins is a risk, they use a variation of a single password 69% of the time, alongside Millennials who do this 66% of the time.
In addition, the report found Gen Z is the most likely to create stronger passwords for social media and entertainment accounts, compared to other generations.
On the other hand, Gen Z is the generation most likely to use memorization to keep track of their passwords (51%), with Baby Boomers the least likely to memorize their passwords at 38%.
The report also uncovered generally low levels of confidence when it came to cybersecurity, 70% of the respondents said they were neutral about their cybersecurity fluency, while only 24% are confident and 7% are “not confident”.
In addition, relatively few respondents are taking proper steps to protect themselves from hackers if the report’s findings are to be believed.
Only four-in-ten use multi-factor authentication (MFA), while only 23% use a password manager, and 8% do nothing at all.
“Our latest research showcases that even in the face of a pandemic, where we spent more time online amid rising cyberattacks, there continues to be a disconnect for people when it comes to protecting their digital lives,” said Christofer Hoff, Chief Secure Technology Officer for LastPass.
“The reality is that even though nearly two-thirds of respondents have some form of cybersecurity education, it is not being put into practice for varying reasons.
He added: “For both consumers and businesses, a password manager is a simple step to keep your accounts safe and secure.”
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