Which generation has the worst password habits?
Kim recently sat down with a former hacker who described the wild shenanigans he used to get into after breaking into people’s accounts. A savvy invader can do a ton of damage, whether it’s stealing your life savings or taking over your phone. And hackers aren’t going away any time soon: there are tons of young kids with an impressive arsenal of security skills.
In fact, the former hacker once went to a cybersecurity conference and saw a preteen in a shirt that said, “I’m here because your password is 123456.” Weak codes like the latter make it incredibly easy for cybercriminals to invade your digital life. If you need advice on creating passwords that are easy to remember and hard to follow, we’ve got you covered. Tap or click here for five rules for unbreakable passwords.
Data breaches can reveal the most intimate details of your life, from medical records to private email conversations. But did you know that certain age groups are more at risk than others? It’s because a demographic has terrible password habits, which puts people at a ton of risk.
As Kim always says, never reuse your password.
Researchers with Beyond Identity surveyed more than 1,000 Americans to understand how different people manage passwords, from creation to storage methods. They found that about three out of four people had their password breached at least once. (This number is reserved for people who to know they were violated. Who knows how many people might be browsing the web with compromised codes?)
RELATED: Hidden setting in your browser that reveals your hacked passwords
Interestingly, 24% of Gen Zers say they are extremely likely to reuse the same password. That’s more than any other demographic group surveyed. Find out more in the table below:
Of course, you need to update your password often. This is because of automated attacks. Clever cybercriminals can set up bots to launch coordinated attacks on your accounts. These bots can come up with tons of potential character combinations to try to generate an accurate password.
That’s why experts recommend changing your passwords from time to time. Researchers found that one in five people update their password less than once a year.
RELATED: Use this chart to see how long it will take to crack your passwords
Contrast that with popular advice from security experts, who recommend updating your passwords several times a year. The frequency depends on the type of account you are trying to protect. Tap or click here for Kim’s tips on developing a password change schedule.
How do people defend work vs. personal passwords?
Here is another surprising discovery. Gen Zers were the most likely of any group to say their work passwords were less secure than their personal accounts. In other words, their work had a weaker code than their social media handle.
Most respondents said they remembered their passwords, while 40% used a password manager app. (If you are in the market, we recommend our sponsor, RoboForm.) Surprisingly, over 20% of people write down their passwords on paper, phone notes or computer documents.
“In the event of a password breach, where you store your password won’t save you,” the researchers said. “These types of compromises are usually made by breaching the databases at the institutional level where the records are stored.
Want to learn more about how password habits vary across generations? Read the full study here.