6 in 10 Consumers Rely on their Memory for Effective Password Management (Concerning)

If you think that creating and memorizing a super-long and complex password means that you have achieved peak security, not only is your approach incorrect but you are also not alone.

As per a recent study (on behalf of Bitwarden) of over 1,600 people across several countries, 59% claimed that they rely on their “memory” to manage their passwords. And it turns out that it isn’t a good idea.

Leaving passwords to memory can lead to two possibilities i.e. 1) you create multiple easy-to-remember passwords that follow a similar pattern or blueprint, or 2) you create a handful of complex passwords that you use for more than one account

Either of the aforementioned possibilities puts your security at risk. The passwords that are easy to remember are easy to crack as well. Moreover, since in these cases, multiple passwords share similarities, getting one password cracked means that the attacker has a better chance at stealing your other passcodes too.

Creating a longer and stronger password isn’t a much better option either if you are using it for multiple accounts. Reusing a passcode reduces its strength and if it gets stolen, all your accounts secured by that particular password would be put at risk too.

In short, research indicates that 56% of the people who leave passwords to memory have to change them at least once every 30 days due to not recalling them. And of this 56%, 14% claimed that they switch passwords every week.

While 59% of the survey participants said that they use their memory to manage passwords, 33% said that they use a pen and paper to remember theirs. While this isn’t the most recommended approach to manage passwords, it definitely is a secure one since the hackers must physically access the paper on which a password is written.

Moreover, 19% even said they store their passwords via email. However, the wisest and most secure way to manage passwords is by using a credible password manager (voted by 28% of the participants). Various password managers help you create long, unique, and random passwords in addition to automatically filling them in where required.

Among the best password managers, Dashlane, LastPass, and 1Password happen to be the most reliable ones.

For better security, you should activate two-factor authentication where possible. This way, the password alone wouldn’t be sufficient to log someone into their account and they will also have to enter a code. If you feel this is time-consuming, you can play around with the app settings and make sure that only the accounts with sensitive, personal, or confidential information inside require authentication.

The good news is that certain password manager programs boast a 2FA code-generating perk. However, it’s recommended that you use separate apps/programs for storing passwords and receiving code authentication.

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