January 9, 2018

Kaspersky Lab research finds consumers facing dilemma choosing passwords

Consumers frequently deciding between passwords that are weak and convenient versus secure but forgettable

Woburn, MA – January 9, 2018 – According to a Kaspersky Lab survey report, internet users are facing a dilemma when choosing passwords: some people choose simple, memorable passwords, but put their data at increased risk, while others opt for strong passwords that are different for every account but risk forgetting their passwords in the process. Many people do not consider the option of using password management software, which offers both convenience and security.

Today, consumers manage online accounts for everything from mobile banking, online shopping, checking the weather or booking a taxi. If people are unable to log in to an account when they need it, this can create complications – from trivial issues such as being locked out of a gaming account, to more significant problems like being unable to order important medications online.

Kaspersky Lab surveyed internet users on their password habits for its 2017 consumer security risks report, “Not logging on, but living on.” The research found that people most often take one of two approaches to password management.

Option one: Weak passwords that are easy to crack

To avoid the frustration of remembering a variety of passwords, Kaspersky Lab found that one-in-ten people (10%) admit to using the same password for all accounts. While this may allow consumers to live their online lives seamlessly, this can put all of their accounts at risk if a breach compromises any single account. With 17 percent of people indicating that they have faced the threat of a breach, or had an online account successfully hacked in the past 12 months, using the same password across all accounts poses a significant security risk.

It is especially dangerous for consumers to use weak or repeated passwords on accounts that are of particular interest to cybercriminals. For consumers who have faced a hacking attempt in the last year, email accounts were the most frequently targeted, accounting for 41 percent of attacks. This was followed by social media accounts, which were targeted in 37 percent of cases, while shopping accounts were targeted 18 percent of the time.

Option two: Strong passwords that are hard to remember

Alternatively, Kaspersky Lab found that many consumers understand the need for strong passwords, with 28 percent of survey respondents stating that they use a new password for every online account. When asked which accounts were the most important to protect with strong passwords, the majority of U.S. consumers (64%) selected online banking accounts, while 46 percent chose email and 43 percent selected online shopping.

However, it can be difficult to remember more than a few strong passwords. Kaspersky Lab found that more than one-in-three people (38%) said that they would not be able to quickly restore online account information if it was lost, which could result in stress or frustration.

In attempting to remember a number of different strong passwords, people often inadvertently create a new security risk in password storage. Kaspersky Lab found that half (51%) of consumers store passwords insecurely, with 23 percent writing them in a notepad and 14 percent writing them on a paper or sticker stored somewhere near their computer.

Option three: Addressing the dilemma

While people may believe that they are limited to two options when choosing passwords, there is another option that does not require compromising security or convenience. Password management software allows consumers to store all of their online account information securely, so that they can use a variety of strong passwords without remembering login information for hundreds of accounts.

“If people have strong passwords that they can remember, they will not only be able to access everything they need, whenever they need it, but the information held in their accounts will also be secure from cybercriminals,” said Andrei Mochola, head of consumer business at Kaspersky Lab. “But remembering secure passwords is difficult, meaning people face a password dilemma every day. They often either forget their passwords, or end up creating passwords that are easy to remember but also easy to hack. However, there is a third option which can bring consumers peace of mind – using a password manager solution allows people to have strong passwords, without having to write them down in notepads or remember complicated strings of words with special characters.”

To help consumers regain control over their sprawling online identities, Kaspersky Password Manager stores all of a user’s passwords in a secure digital vault. Consumers only need to remember one master password to access all of their accounts, allowing for both convenience and security. Through a free My Kaspersky account, users can access their passwords on any device at any time. The automatic password generator feature also helps create strong passwords, taking away the headache for users.

To check how strong your current passwords are, visit Kaspersky Lab’s Password Check website. For more information about how Kaspersky Lab products can help consumers remain in control of their online accounts, visit https://www.kaspersky.com/home-security.

About Kaspersky Lab

Kaspersky Lab is a global cybersecurity company celebrating its 20 year anniversary in 2017. Kaspersky Lab’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into next generation security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky Lab technologies and we help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at www.kaspersky.com.

For the latest in-depth information on security threat issues and trends, please visit:

Securelist | Information about Viruses, Hackers and Spam
Follow @Securelist on Twitter

Threatpost | The First Stop for Security News
Follow @Threatpost on Twitter

Media Contact
Meghan Rimol

781.503.2671

meghan.rimol@kaspersky.com

Articles related to Press Releases