Most Americans reuse passwords, with millennials the worst culprits

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A new survey of over 1,000 US adults reveals that 81 percent of people surveyed admit to using the same password for more than one account.

Among millennials where 92 percent say they use the same password across multiple accounts. More worrying still, more than a third (36 percent) report that they use the same password for 25 percent or more of their online accounts.

Yet despite these poor habits, the study for access control company SecureAuth, conducted by Wakefield Research shows Americans are much more likely to be concerned about their online personal information being stolen (69 percent) than their wallet being stolen (31 percent). Of those who have suffered an account breach 91 percent have had some form of consequence. These include 42 percent having spam messages sent from an account, 38 percent locked out of their accounts, 28 percent having money stolen through a withdrawal or unauthorized purchase, 19 percent having personal information, such as a social security number or date of birth stolen, and 19 percent having sensitive personal files, such as photos or tax records made public.

"It comes as no surprise that there is a direct result of users' poor password habits and users experiencing the consequences of a breach," says Jeff Kukowski, CEO of SecureAuth. "We know attackers are having great success with breaches involving the misuse of stolen or weak credentials. These survey results solidify what experts in identity security know to be true: Organizations need to strengthen their security posture but also provide a seamless customer experience. It is important the security solutions employed strike the right balance. Since many consumers are not taking security into their own hands, it's important for organizations to protect customer data, giving customers confidence that their data is being taken care of while still providing an ease of use to their service."

The survey results also reveals that 75 percent of Americans believe a portion of their personal online accounts are protected by 2FA. This includes, banking/financial (52 percent), email (39 percent), and social media (27 percent). 86 percent of respondents say they would use 2FA it was available.

You can find out more about the findings on the SecureAuth blog.

Image Credit: iqoncept / depositphotos.com

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