New Report: The UK and Passwords: What’s really happening?

The line between professional life and personal life has become extremely blurred in the digital world. For many, the difference is very little. They use their personal laptop and mobile phone for work purposes, for example. There is also another common element, the Password. 

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 behaviours 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, globally 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. 

In the UK – we found that 64% of people reuse passwords due to the fear of forgetting them. And what’s worse, is that 59% didn’t change their password even after a breach was reported in the news. This means that the single comprised password now can be used to access the majority of your other online accounts! (There are more interesting insights on the UK in the below infographic) 

Password reuse like this is especially risky with the uptick in malware and hacking incidents we’ve been seeing due to Covid-19. 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 the global 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 favourite 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 Global infographic featuring results from this latest Psychology of Passwords research below and download the eBook for the complete 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 behaviours in different countries  
  • And more