Password Study

A new study published last month by illustrates how Americans choose passwords, and the issues with the patterns they found. Click here to read the study in its entirety. The publication highlights three issues they see as trends with American passwords right off the top:

45% of Americans use passwords that are eight characters or less.

25% of Americans share their passwords with others.

Only 15% of Americans use a password generator to create a strong password for them.

The study also analyzed the types of words Americans used to create their passwords. 20% used curse words, 14% used ‘COVID’, and 12% used ‘Trump’ in their passwords this year. They also found the most common password is still ‘123456’, which would be cracked instantly by any brute force hacking tools.

Additionally, the study asked how Americans remember their passwords. Almost 37% of respondents said they only use their memory, about 20% said they use a physical notebook, and only about 12% said they use a password manager to remember their passwords for them.

Big picture, the issues we see with passwords are they are too short, and easy to guess. The study shows Americans use words that can be found in the dictionary, as well as pet names, or parent/ child names that could be found on social media.

At Quanexus we recommend a 13+ character password that does not include words that can be found in the dictionary. We also recommend a password manager that can create a strong password, and store that password for you. As we can see from the study, only 12% of Americans use one of these tools.

This is a topic we will go more in depth on in an upcoming Podcast, but until then use this as an opportunity to think about how you create and manage passwords. This study is well put together, easily digestible, and would be a good resource to share with your employees.

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Posted by Charles Wright