Poor password hygiene still common among online users — LastPass

The fourth ‘Psychology of Passwords’ global report from LastPass, the password manager from LogMeIn, found that while 92% of online users know that using the same password or a variation is a risk, 65% still re-use passwords across accounts, drastically increasing risks to sensitive information.

Among participants in the study, 71% have been working wholly or partly remote, while 70% spent more time online for personal entertainment during the pandemic.

With these trends has come a high capability of human fault, which has led to vulnerabilities being exploited – 85% of data breaches involved a human element through phishing or human error, according to the 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report.

What’s more, 47% of respondents did not change their online security habits while working remotely over the past year, and 44% admitted to sharing sensitive information and passwords for professional accounts while working away from the office.

The report also found that the type of information being protected impacts consumers’ likeliness to use good password practices, as while 68% of respondents said they would create stronger passwords for financial accounts, only 32% noted they would create strong passwords for work-related accounts.

Strong cyber security habits being more vital than ever, with online activity and cyber attack variations increasing over the past 18 months.

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“Our latest report showcases the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic amid the increased time we spent online – which has in turn, increased our vulnerability to potential hackers,” said Dan DeMichele, vice-president of product management for LastPass.

“As we continue to grow our online presence, we need more robust protection for our online information. One way to combat this is by investing in a password manager which can be used to store your personal and digital information safely.

“As a business or IT lead, adding an additional layer of security, including multi-factor authentication or single sign-on options, will help to ensure that your employees are the only ones accessing their information.”

3,750 professionals at organisations across a variety of industries in the US, UK, Germany, Australia, Singapore, France and India were surveyed for this report, which closely follows the decision by Microsoft to facilitate passwordless logins.