New Report: Combatting Cognitive Dissonance in Password Creation

As more and more people work and socialize online, it’s more essential than ever to protect your personal information. But are people taking the necessary steps to stay safe online? With World Password Day later this week, a celebration to promote better password habits, we thought it was the perfect time to launch our 3rd Psychology of Passwords Report. This research examines online security behaviors of 3,250 people from around the world to see if and how they are putting themselves at risk, if they recognize the risk they’re putting themselves in and what more they could be doing better to keep themselves safe.

People know what’s right, but do the opposite

The biggest trend we saw in the report was this cognitive dissonance: People know what they should be doing, but they don’t actually do it. For example, 91% say they know using the same or a variation of the same password is a security risk. However, when it comes to creating passwords, 66% of respondents always or mostly use the same password – this is up 8% from our findings in 2018.

If a hacker gains access to one of your online accounts, they will then have access to all the others where that password is used. Password reuse like this is especially risky with the uptick in malware and hacking incidents we’ve been seeing in the last month. So, the question becomes, why? Why are people doing the opposite of what they know is right?

People don’t think they are a target

One reason: 41% of respondents think their accounts aren’t valuable enough to be worth a hacker’s time. But they’re wrong! Your personal data can be very valuable! Even if some data, like your credit card number, only gets them between $5-$110 each, that’s still worth a lot when they are stealing huge amounts of data. When your favorite brands get breached, those hackers can make a lot of money selling your information on the dark web.  

We’ve got a lot more stats to share! Check out the infographic featuring results from this latest Psychology of Passwords research below and download the eBook for the complete results.

Get all the Results

The full report includes:

  • Why people are reusing passwords
  • What percentage of people can guess their significant others’ passwords
  • Types of accounts people are actually protecting properly
  • Comparison of behaviors in different countries
  • And more