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Security Researchers Conducted A Study On Password Vaults and Managers, Attempting To Gauge Public Interest As Well As Usage

The team at SecurityOrg has published a report detailing its findings on general usage and practices being employed by netizens where password vaults/managers are concerned.

For the unaware individual, a password vault, also known as a password manager, is essentially a relatively basic form of encryption that allows users to keep their accounts as secure as possible. Of course, the point of a password itself is to keep account details secure; but if we’re being honest, no one really pays any particular attention to the best practices that need to be employed. We look at the suggestions that social media platforms and Gmail give us about adding capitalizations, symbols, and numbers thinking wow, talk about a lot of unnecessary complications, right? However, without said complicated password management, it becomes rather easy for hackers and cybercriminals to gain access to one’s account details. Sure, it isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but with individuals having easy access to techniques such as brute force, at one point keeping passwords that link themselves to either personal details, or sharing the same password across platforms is just setting oneself up.

Sure, it’s incredibly difficult to remember even one complicated password, let alone multiple. One could always consider making a note of them in their mobile devices, but that’s potential exposure to another list of problems. Ultimately, the best way to go about handling password management is a vault. Vaults generate random passwords, consisting of a bizarre combination of everything possible accessible on a keyboard. They then proceed to assign said passwords to each one of the user’s separate online platforms, thus making sure that no one key can open all locks. The vaults also remember these passwords, so a user doesn’t have to go about writing them down. All one has to do is keep their phone safe, and their vault under a local password, and we’re all good to go!

So, now you know what a password vault is, but the real question is: how many others know? And are they implementing such apps to their benefit. Security.org, already well-known for conducting researches into similar matters, decided to go ahead and answer such questions in the interest of raising public awareness. Their research parameters involved surveying 1,077 individual Americans, and chronicled three separate aspects of online security: their personal experiences with cybercrime; their own methods of password tracking; and their opinions on password vaults. The individuals were surveyed regardless of their age, gender, and sexuality. Armed with the necessary tools and analytical minds, the research was then kicked into gear.

One out every five of our sample population was found to use a password manager, which equates to roughly 45 million individuals across the US. While that number is definitely an impressive metric, it pales in light of the current US population, which is roughly over 300 million. On top of this, one out of every three individuals had some form of their online identity or credentials stolen in a cybersecurity breach which is, for lack of a better word, bad.

Individuals relying on their memory in order to conduct their online business were twice as likely to have their identity or credentials attacked via cybersecurity threats. The reasoning behind this is that users that rely on memory either share similar passwords across multiple platforms, or simply don’t come up with passwords complicated enough to withstand half an hour worth of some cybercriminal running a brute attack software against their ID. However, at the end of this survey, which also focused on educating such individuals as opposed to just questioning them, 69% of the population displayed an interest in purchasing their own password vault. This is good since before this, 71% of the sample had stated that their lack of password managers was due to an unfamiliarity with the entire procedure; people genuinely questioned the security such apps brought to their devices.
Read next: Simulated Phishing Study Reveals Who Falls for Them Most Often

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