Passwords are now part of daily life. For years you’ve needed a code to access your bank or even make a payment by card.
Today you need another code to pay via your phone, a password to log onto social media, one for your tax affairs, your utility bills, and so on.
It’s virtually impossible to remember all the different passwords you need.
Of course, some people get around the issue by using the same password for everything.
It can appear to make sense, until your password gets hacked and the hacker has access to all your accounts.
That’s why most people choose to record their passwords.
But simply writing them down isn’t enough. Password managers are designed to encrypt and then store your passwords.
That keeps them safe to ensure only you can access them.
However, password managers are not always popular. Here are some surprising password manager statistics for 2023.
Key Password Manager Statistics
- 45 million Americans use password managers
- Nearly 66% of Americans record their passwords in writing or memorize them
- People who don’t use a password manager are three times more likely to suffer identity theft
- 65% of people don’t trust password managers
- 24% of internet users worldwide rely on password managers
- 85% of people are aware that using the same password for multiple accounts is dangerous
- 84% of password managers are used via mobile phones
- 42% of businesses still utilize sticky notes to record passwords
- IT users reuse passwords more than the general population
- 78% of people have needed to do a password reset within the last 3 months
Detailed Password Manager Statistics
1. Nearly 66% of Americans Record Their Passwords in Writing or Memorize Them
There are approximately 334 million people living in the US and only 45 million of them use password managers.
Roughly two in three people keep a note of their passwords the old-fashioned way, by writing them down or attempting to memorize them.
That’s roughly 223 million US citizens with easily accessible passwords!
2. People Who Don’t Use a Password Manager Are Three Times More Likely to Suffer Identity Theft
Identity theft is becoming an increasing issue.
Scammers are constantly looking for ways to collect your personal information and use it to take your funds or steal your identity and get credit in your name.
The easiest way for a scammer to do this is to gain access to your passwords.
Without a password manager you’re more likely to have a low security password and, therefore, it’s more likely your password will be cracked.
Alongside this, having to memorize your password means that you’re more likely to use the same one on multiple accounts.
That makes it even easier to steal your identity and explains why people who don’t use a password manager are three times more likely to have their identity stolen.
3. 65% of People Don’t Trust Password Managers
In a survey of 1,283 Americans, all aged over 18, it was found that 65% of them didn’t trust password managers.
That’s despite 60% of them having experienced passwords or other personal information being stolen through a data breach.
The sentiment is understandable. People don’t understand how password managers work and see it as more risky placing all their passwords in the cloud.
This is especially true if they’ve experienced a data breach, they’ll be even more worried about their password list being accessed.
4. 85% of People Are Aware that Using the Same Password for Multiple Accounts Is Dangerous
Reusing the same password on multiple accounts means, if your password is cracked, the hacker will gain access to many, if not all, of your accounts.
That is enough to persuade you to use different passwords for each account.
However, with the average person needing to remember over 20 passwords, it’s easy to see why some are reused.
Combine that with the mistrust of password managers and you have a huge security risk.
It’s one that 85% of people are aware of but don’t know or are reluctant to do anything about.
Interestingly, 19.4% of people between the ages of 19-34 don’t see the risk in using the same password.
That’s compared to 14.1% of people aged over 55.
The result is approximately 25% of people use their password on multiple accounts.
5. 84% of Password Managers Are Used via Mobile Phones
Until recently password managers have been downloaded and installed on desktop computers.
However, phones are now becoming increasingly powerful, many are better than computers.
The result is a dramatic increase in the use of password managers via mobile devices.
An impressive 84% of password managers are now downloaded and used via phones.
6. 42% of Businesses Still Utilize Sticky Notes to Record Passwords
Staggeringly, a survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute shows that 42% of people surveyed rely on sticky notes to record passwords and keep them safe.
Short of announcing your passwords on social media there is little else you can do to reduce the security on your accounts.
However, the worst part is that the survey focused on IT professionals.
They surveyed 3,000 people and nearly half stated sticky notes were their preferred way of storing passwords.
7. IT Users Reuse Passwords More than The General Population
The Ponemon Institute survey also discovered that password reuse is very common among IT professionals.
Half of them acknowledged they had reused passwords.
The main use was multiple work accounts with the same password and, when passwords needed to be changed, making a slight variation to the original password.
In contrast, just 39% of non-IT professionals reuse the same password.
It’s also worth noting that 51% of IT professionals have shared passwords, although usually with other IT professionals.
8. 78% of People Have Needed to Do a Password Reset Within the Last 3 Months
The HYPR study was completed in 2019 and found that 78% of individuals surveyed had needed to do a password reset within the last three months.
Work-related passwords fared better, only 57% of them were reset within the last 90 days.
In many cases this was due to a password being forgotten, which is thanks to a poor password management system.
However, password resets can also occur when you think you’ve forgotten a password and it has, in fact, been hacked.
How Password Managers Work
The fear of using a password manager is understandable. After all, you’re creating a list of all your passwords and storing them in a file. This file is then stored.
The location of the file will depend on the password manager you choose and your specific preferences.
The file can be stored on your local device.
This means the password file can only be accessed from your local device. With the right security this is very difficult to do.
Alternatively, the file can be stored in the cloud.
This allows you to access the passwords from anywhere and avoids the issue of your local device breaking, losing you access to your passwords.
If anyone were to access the cloud, specifically the server storing your passwords, they would be able to see all your passwords and use them to access your accounts.
Or would they?
Password managers can be simple stores for passwords you’ve chosen.
You open the manager and add the account type, your username for that account, and the password.
The password manager then encrypts the data before storing it in a protective server.
In short, your passwords are encrypted. Even if the storage vault is hacked, the hackers won’t be able to read the passwords.
The majority of password managers also use zero-knowledge encryption.
This means that the company providing the password manager can’t even access your password file or see your passwords.
While they can decipher the encryption, this takes time.
When this is happening you will be alerted and be able to change your passwords before they are cracked.
It’s not just the vault that protects your passwords. The file is also password protected.
All you need is one strong password to protect your vault. Provided it is at least 12 characters long and random, it’s highly unlikely the vault will be cracked.
All you have to do is remember one password which gets you into your password manager.
Provided you choose a password manager with a high level of encryption, ideally AES 256-bit, your passwords are extremely safe and unlikely to be accessed by anyone else.
It’s worth noting that some of the best password managers also offer two-factor authentication.
That means every login to the password manager must be authorized via a code sent to your mobile device.
It makes hacking virtually impossible.
Generating The Passwords
You can create your own list of passwords. Ideally, each password should be at least eight characters long, preferably 12.
They should also be made up of random upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and even special characters.
It can be surprisingly difficult to randomly create passwords.
That’s why the majority of password managers include a password generator tool.
You simply tell it how long the password needs to be and whether it includes letters, numbers, and special characters.
The password generator creates a password for you.
Because it’s random it’s even more difficult to remember or guess.
Hence the need for a password manager.
Which Password Managers Are Best?
Any password manager that offers high-level security, such as zero-knowledge encryption and AES 256-bit will be a good choice for storing, (and creating), your passwords.
However, some will offer extras, such as fingerprint sign-in or facial recognition software. These increase the security further and make the software very easy to use.
Examples include LastPass, 1Password, and Dashlane.
Do Password Managers Put Your Passwords At Risk?
This is a common misconception but the answer is no. Password managers secure the password file with a single password, backed up by two-factor authentication.
Alongside this, the passwords are encrypted.
A hacker would need to crack your login password, somehow bypass two-factor identification, and then unencrypt the passwords.
It’s incredibly difficult, if not impossible, even for the best hackers in the world.
Can I Access My Passwords Anywhere?
Yes. If you store your passwords locally on a mobile device then they will always be with you.
Of course, if you lose your device or it breaks, you’ll lose your passwords.
If you opt to save the passwords in the cloud you’ll be able to access them from anywhere, using any device. All you’ll need is access to the internet.
Password manager statistics are shocking reading. The simple truth is most people don’t trust them or use them.
This lack of knowledge is putting people’s personal and financial details at risk.
The truth is that a password manager can help you keep different passwords for every account and ensure they are all strong passwords.
It also makes it much easier when you need to generate new passwords, simply request one via your password manager and use it.
You only need to remember one password to grant you access to the password manager and your risk of identity theft will tumble.
If you aren’t already using a password manager then you should start today.
It won’t just make your passwords safer, it will make your life easier.