The survey of 1,000 consumers in the UK, reveals that forgetting a password for an online account is more annoying than misplacing keys, a mobile phone battery dying or getting spam email. Only a computer programme crashing or freezing while sending email are more annoying.
Peoples frustrations have now reached unprecedented levels, with one in six (16 per cent) saying they would prefer to sit next to someone talking loudly on their mobile phone, 17 per cent would rather set their ringtone as Macarena for a year, and 12 per cent would prefer to sit next to a crying baby on a flight rather than have to manage their passwords. Seven per cent would even prefer root canal treatment!
In our new digital lifestyles, our frustrations are increasing as we constantly juggle multiple passwords for everything from photo sharing apps and Facebook to shopping sites and email, says Barry Scott, Chief Technology Officer EMEA for Centrify. According to our survey, over a quarter of us now enter a password online more than 10 times a day that could be as much as 4,000 times a year. Were told not to write them down or use the same one, so it’s becoming really tough to stay in control of our passwords and remember them all.
With nearly half (42 per cent) of us creating at least one new online account profile every week more than 50 a year the problem with password management will get even worse. In fact, 14 per cent in the Centrify survey believe they will have 100+ passwords to deal with in the next five years. Despite this, it seems that many may seriously underestimate the number of account profiles they already have online, with nearly half (47 per cent) believing they have just five profiles although a quarter admit they have 21 or more.
Other research highlights:
- More than a third (38 per cent) have accounts they cannot get into any more because they cannot remember the password
- 28 per cent get locked out at least once a month due to multiple incorrect password entries
- One in five change their passwords at least once a month and 8 per cent change them every week
- Most have little faith in password security just 15 per cent believe their passwords are very secure
Top 5 bad password practices
When asked what they do in order to remember their passwords, survey respondents said they:
- Always use the same password whenever possible
- Rotate through a variety of similar passwords
- Keep a written password in a master book of passwords
- Use personal information in a password
- Avoid using complicated symbols or combining upper and lower case
The Widmeyer survey was developed to assess peoples engagement with, and perception of, passwords, in order to determine their efficacy in the workplace. The survey was completed in September 2014 with more than 1,000 participants in the UK and 1,000 in North America.