Password Breach Statistics

Key Password Breach Statistics in 2024

Published on: December 3, 2023
Last Updated: December 3, 2023

Key Password Breach Statistics in 2024

Published on: December 3, 2023
Last Updated: December 3, 2023

No matter who you talk to, everyone has more than one password, making for some interesting password breach statistics.

In the past, most people didn’t worry about using the same passwords for different accounts, but this isn’t the case anymore.

Data breaches are becoming increasingly common with each passing year, causing people to take more in-depth security measures.

Roughly 30% of all users on the internet have experienced a data breach due to a weak password.

It’s an issue that can range from issues that are minimal to much more severe.

If your password is exposed in a data breach, it can lead to hackers gaining access to even more sensitive information.

In this article, you’ll get an eye-opening look at statistics focused on passwords and data breaches.

Key Password Data Breach Statistics

  • 30% of internet have experienced a data breach due to a weak password
  • 99.9% of blocked data breaches are due to multifactor authentication
  • Over 336 million Twitter users have been affected by a bug that saved passwords
  • There are over 555 million stolen passwords on the dark web since 2017
  • 59% of adults in the U.S. use birthdays or names in their passwords
  • 2/3rds of people in the U.S. use the same password for multiple accounts

The Current State of Cybersecurity in 2024

Password Breach Statistics

The use of passwords has expanded over the years, which has led to a management issue for many people.

Considering most people deal with a long list of passwords, there are a variety of password managers that are in high demand.

Nevertheless, security concerns continue as data breaches are at an all-time high.

Utilizing multifactor authentication is a good way to keep your accounts secure, but you’d be surprised at how many individuals don’t put it to use.

Even strong passwords are subject to a data breach, and we’re in an era where strong passwords alone won’t cut it.

There’s plenty you can do to protect yourself, but thousands of people deal with cybersecurity attacks and hacked accounts on a yearly basis.

After you go through the various statistics mentioned in this article, you’ll have a better idea of the importance of cybersecurity as a whole.

General Password Statistics

If you want to use a new product or service, you’ll more than likely have to set up a username and password.

This has led to individuals creating more passwords than they could possibly keep track of.

For example, it’s estimated that most people have around 85 different passwords for various accounts.

However, the variety and uniqueness of these passwords are vital for your overall protection.

The ideal character length for passwords is eight or more while using a variety of letters, numbers, and symbols.

With the use of multifactor security, you can significantly reduce the risk of having your data stolen.

Roughly 99.9% of the attacks that are blocked are due to multifactor authentication.

What causes a data breach could be due to a variety of methods. 33.3% of malware breaches are caused by password dumper malware, and some occur due to the use of poor passwords.

Over 80% of company data breaches stem from weak passwords.

When it comes to hacking incidents, 80% of them are caused by stolen and reused login information.

Sometimes special tools aren’t even needed to steal someone’s information.

27% of hackers have tried to guess other people’s passwords, while 17% have actually been successful.


A Look at Password Management

There are quite a few common traits when it comes to how people manage their passwords.

Recent analysis highlights that 10 million variations of the year 2010 are being used in passwords worldwide.

The year that’s second in line is 1987, with nearly 8.4 million variations.

In an analysis of 2.2 million passwords in 2021, roughly 7% of them contained some kind of curse word.

For example, the “F” word is used in under 5 million passwords. There are 2.3 million iterations of the word “Abu” being used in passwords.

Trends in how passwords are managed and used can be tied to a variety of password-making habits that are relatively common.

In data taken from 2021, roughly 50% of internet users use a single password for all of their accounts.

Interestingly, 60% of people admit to being lazy when creating new passwords and simply resort to using the same password for every account.

Germany has a pretty good track record for creating unique passwords. 40% of respondents from Germany use a new password for every account they make.

In comparison, 19% of adults in France use one or two passwords for all of their accounts online.

When it comes to password management tools, 44% of respondents in the U.S. use them.


Passwords in the Work Place

In many cases, personal and professional passwords are treated differently.

Some work passwords aren’t as secure as they should be, and there are many common tropes when it comes to how people structure professional passwords.

You can find a few common statistics on this particular topic down below.

  • 44% of employees reuse passwords for personal and work-related accounts
  • 34% of employees share passwords with their colleagues
  • 57% of people in the workplace write down passwords on sticky notes
  • On average, employees reuse passwords 13 times
  • 49% of employees store password information in plain text documents

These statistics show that around 50% of employees aren’t very careful with work passwords.

Moreover, they don’t utilize multifactor authentication either.

You’ll find an entirely different set of data that focuses on multifactor authentication and overall password security as well.

Security measures are increasing for passwords, but many people still have not adopted multifactor security options.


Statistics on Password Security Measures

Most Common Password Cracking Techniques & How To Protect Yours

One of the most common security measures you can take to secure your personal information is two-factor authentication (2FA).

It adds an extra layer of security outside of your password before you can gain access to an account.

When it comes to multifactor authentication, this could include a wide variety of extra security measures, such as a one-time passcode being sent to your mobile phone.

IT professionals are one group of people who don’t skip out on necessary cybersecurity measures.

Around 46% of workers in this field utilize two-factor authentication across all of their work accounts.

28% of this group also use SMS codes, but 54% of IT professionals believe that SMS authentication disrupts their workflow.

As security measures continue to develop, passwordless authentication is becoming a more common solution to access accounts.

By 2030, the market for passwordless authentication is expected to reach $53 billion.

This type of authentication can include some of the following methods.

  • SMS codes
  • Fingerprint scans
  • Hardware tokens
  • Unique phrases
  • Backup codes
  • And more

In 2021, this market was worth $12.79 billion, and passwordless authentication is expected to grow substantially in the coming years.

A decent portion of the corporate world uses passwordless methods to access IT infrastructure, 60% to be exact. 

It’s also important to note that 87% of professionals in the It industry are firm believers in the transition to passwordless authentication.

Incorporating these various types of complex security measures can significantly reduce the occurrence of data breaches.

You can also take a look at which passwordless methods are more popular than others in the corporate world.

Organizations that integrate passwordless authentication use the following methods:

  • 42% use private and public key pairs
  • 43% use authentication that’s certificate based
  • 48% use one-time email links
  • 60% use hardware security tokens

You can expect organizations to be some of the first adopters of new security methods, but this is also slowly reaching its way to the public.

As data breaches continue to become a widespread concern for everyone, more and more people are looking for new ways to protect their information.


Data on Changing Passwords

Another method that people can use to keep their information secure is by updating their passwords every so often.

Some people choose to do this more frequently than others. On the other hand, quite a few people never change their passwords.

There are certain sectors in the corporate world that focus on updating passwords a lot more often.

Organizations that work in the finance sector require users to change passwords roughly 7.17 times per year.

In the technology sector, users change passwords around 7.62 times on a yearly basis.

For professional services, they require users to change passwords at least 7.03 times per year, but people only respond to this roughly 4.6 times every year.

Other interesting data points on changing passwords:

  • Only 7% of people who participate in online games changed their passwords in 2020
  • Even after finding out about a security incident, only 1 in 5 Americans would change their passwords
  • 34% of people in the U.S. change their passwords on a regular basis
  • In data pulled from 2020, 37% of EU respondents changed their email passwords in the last year
  • 57% of people share their passwords with a significant other
  • Only 11% of these individuals change their password after a breakup

To flush out this data among EU residents, the table below highlights how many people changed their passwords across a variety of services in the past 12 months.

Email is the most common at 37%, but other services that are commonly used don’t see a password change nearly as often.

Service% of People Who Changed Passwords
Mobile banking30%
Social networks25%
Shopping sites16%
Public service websites9%
Online games7%
Don’t know11%

Some people speculate that the use of passwords could die entirely down the road.

This would be due to the rising use of multifactor authentication and passwordless security methods.

With MFA’s proven track record of effectiveness, standard passwords could become a thing of the past.


Other Notable Password Statistics

Password Breach Statistics

You’ll find that the way people manage their passwords varies in different parts of the world, while there are many practices that are common no matter where you look.

The end of this article will highlight a variety of notable password statistics that are interesting, to say the least.

Regarding U.S. residents, 13% of individuals use the same password for every one of their accounts.

This comes out to 1 in 8 adults. 52% reuse the same password for only some of their accounts, while 35% use a different password for every account.

Most people manage quite a few online accounts, and 41% of internet users manage passwords across 10 to 25 websites and applications.

Some people find it frustrating to keep track of their passwords, and this accounts for 75% of adults in the U.S. It’s also known which passwords are the most common and easiest to guess.

These passwords include:

  • password
  • 123456
  • 123456789
  • guest
  • qwerty

You’d be surprised at how many Americans still use simple passwords when creating new accounts.

Some of this is understandable, as almost any website or application prompts you to make an account.

Constantly having to create new passwords may feel exhausting, but unique passwords are vital to the security of your personal information.

An interesting point to discuss is that the length of your password correlates to how hard it is to crack.

For example, passwords that are six characters are easier to crack than passwords that are 12 characters or more.

More than one-third of people have over 20 different passwords to manage. However, this number is much higher in the corporate world.

It’s estimated that workers in Belgium manage roughly 100 passwords.

Shockingly, 42% of individuals in the workforce rely solely on memory to keep track of their passwords.

You can assume this leads to many password changes, as people are more likely to forget their passwords at some point.


Final Thoughts

The statistics mentioned in this article are simply a gist of the data that are collected on this particular topic.

It’s evident that many people struggle to manage their passwords or don’t care to create unique passwords at all. 

Multifactor authentication methods are becoming the preference for many people, but this is something that’s mainly an interest in younger demographics.

Overall, this article covered password breach statistics from various angles to highlight concerns surrounding protecting personal and professional data.



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Written by Jason Wise

Hello! I’m the editor at EarthWeb, with a particular interest in business and technology topics, including social media, privacy, and cryptocurrency. As an experienced editor and researcher, I have a passion for exploring the latest trends and innovations in these fields and sharing my insights with our readers. I also enjoy testing and reviewing products, and you’ll often find my reviews and recommendations on EarthWeb. With a focus on providing informative and engaging content, I am committed to ensuring that EarthWeb remains a leading source of news and analysis in the tech industry.