Password Statistics

Password Statistics: Devastating Stats for 2024!

Published on: March 13, 2024
Last Updated: March 13, 2024

Password Statistics: Devastating Stats for 2024!

Published on: March 13, 2024
Last Updated: March 13, 2024

Let’s face it, passwords are our first line of defense for all our online accounts.

It’s virtually impossible nowadays to stay connected without multiple accounts, which means multiple passwords.

The biggest problem is that many times they are simply not strong enough. 

One of the most challenging things about having multiple passwords is remembering them all.

That’s likely the reason so many passwords are so weak or the same across accounts.

People prefer to have things they can easily remember, which isn’t usually the best way to go.

We have researched recent password statistics to help you learn more about how to make them more secure and strong to avoid hackers. 

Resource Contents show

Key Statistics

  • 43% of all data breaches were caused due to unauthorized access in 2020.
  • 60% of Americans use the same password across multiple accounts. 
  • 44% of those using the internet seldom reset or change their passwords.
  • 59% of survey respondents revealed that they use familiar names or birthdays in their password.
  • 53% independent IT decision makers said they shared passwords via email in 2021.
  • 86% of independent IT decision makers said they use password management software.
  • 33% of independent IT decision makers engage in reusing passwords for 5 to 10 sites.
  • 16% of people have admitted to sharing their passwords with others in 2023.
  • 21% of people claim to have forgotten complex passwords. 
  • 24% of survey participants said they use a password manager.

Devastating Password Statistics in 2024

Password 424

1. 43% of All Data Breaches Were Caused Due to Unauthorized Access in 2020.

Unauthorized access accounts for 43% of all data breaches according to 2020 data.

Unauthorized access means that someone gets physical or logical access to a network, application, data, system, or other resource without permission.

(HelpNet Security, NIST)

2. 60% of Americans Use the Same Password Across Multiple Accounts. 

Using the same password for multiple accounts means that if one of your passwords is compromised, hackers could potentially access all your accounts that use that same password.

(Google/Harris Poll)

3. 44% of Those Using the Internet Seldom Reset or Change Their Passwords.

Surprisingly, many people rarely change or reset their account passwords, according to 2022 data. In fact, the percentage is 44%.

Only 6% of respondents said they change their password every day.

Moreover, 15% said they change their passwords several times per week and 34% said they do so about once a month.

(Statista)

4. 59% of Survey Respondents Revealed that They Use Familiar Names or Birthdays in Their Password.

An astonishing 59% of surveyed internet users said that they use names or birthdays in their passwords.

Another 33% said they use a pet’s name and 14% said they use their child’s name.

Likewise, 15% use their spouse’s/partner’s name and 22% use their own name.

Some of this information is readily available online, or they unknowingly share it with hackers on social media memes that seem benign. 

(Google/Harris Poll)

5. 53% Independent IT Decision Makers Said They Shared Passwords via Email in 2021.

A 2022 Bitwarden report revealed that 53% of IT professionals admitted to sharing passwords in emails.

In one year, these statistics went from 39% to 53%.

Moreover, they also share passwords via shared online documents (43%), chat/messaging (41%), orally (31%), paper (21%).

Only 24% said they never share passwords via any method.

(Bitwarden) 

6. 86% of Independent IT Decision Makers Said They Use Password Management Software.

While it’s somewhat more secure to use password management software, other less secure methods are still being used.

The popularity of password management programs is seen among 86% of IT professionals that use them.

However, they are also still using documents on their computers (53%), relying on their memory (42%), and jotting them down on paper (29%).

(Bitwarden)

7. 33% of Independent IT decision Makers Engage in Reusing Passwords for 5 to 10 Sites.

In the same 2021 Bitwarden survey, 33% of independent IT decision makers across multiple industries admitted to the reuse of passwords on 5 to 10 websites.

Only 8% said they never reuse passwords.

Another 27% said they reuse passwords across 10 to 15 sites, and 16% said they do this for 1 to 5 sites.

Finally, 15% admitted to reusing passwords on over 15 sites.

(Bitwarden)

8. 16% of People Have Admitted to Sharing Their Passwords with Others in 2023.

Outside of the IT decision maker realm, 16% of people say they have shared their passwords with other people in 2023.

Often, this is between family members for subscription sharing or if they need to access an account for emergencies, which is a viable intention.

Otherwise, as much as people are warned not to share passwords, it’s still done.

(Forbes Advisor) 

9. 21% of People Claim to Have Forgotten Complex Passwords. 

It’s easy to forget your passwords, which is one of the things that has driven the rise of using biometrics like fingerprints and Face ID for account logins.

Forbes Advisor reported that 17% of survey participants said that they rely on Face ID for accessing their high-risk accounts. 

(Forbes Advisor) 

10. 24% of Survey Participants Said They Use a Password Manager.

In terms of password security, 24% of survey participants said they use a password manager like LastPass, RoboForm, or 1Password.

Some reasons people give for using password managers is that you don’t need to remember all your complicated passwords for all your accounts (15%).

Some use them because they feel it’s safer and more secure than written on paper (17%).

Only 3% said they use them because it’s required by their employer.

(Forbes Advisor) 

11. The Very First Digital Password Was Created at MIT for A Computer System in 1961.

The whole idea of passwords started in the 1960s at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

They needed a “passcode” to access the computer system they called CTSS, or Compatible Time-Sharing System.

It was 1961 when the first passcode/password came to be.

Now we have a hard time remembering the ones we come up with ourselves. 

(MIT)

12. 20% to 50% of All Helpdesk Calls Are Related to Resetting a Password.

Due to the inability of humans to remember passwords sometimes, between 20% and 50% of calls made to help desks involve password resets.

This occurs mostly in the business realm where employees get locked out of their work computers.

That’s when they call their assigned helpdesk.

(Independent)

13. 78% of Gen-Z Aged Users Tend to Use the Same Password Across Multiple Accounts.

Gen-Z accounts for the most password re-users on multiple accounts, according to 2022 data.

Considering that this generation will soon be entering the workforce and working in businesses, it’s important to know this.

Also, they are more apt to share information due to being raised in a society that favors smartphone and social media use. 

(A1T The Tech Chronicle)

14. During the Pandemic Global Consumers Created Around 15 New Accounts Online. 

One of the side effects of the pandemic related to online security was that global consumers created around 15 new accounts online.

This was especially noticed among younger global consumers as they tend to create more accounts across categories than the other generations.

(2021 Pandemic Security Side Effects Global Survey)

15. 45% of Americans Said They Would Change Their Passwords in The Wake of A Data Breach.

It’s common for employers to require employees to change their passwords after a data breach occurs.

However, that also can happen to individuals.

It’s surprising that only 45% would change their password after the occurrence of a data breach despite the fact they know their personal information is exposed. 

(HMS)

16. In 2020, 42% of Businesses Said that They Relied on Sticky Notes for Their Password Management.

We should all know by now not to put our passwords on sticky notes and stick them to something like our computer monitor, don’t we?

Well, in 2020, m42% of organizations admitted that they used sticky notes as password managers. 

(Businesswire Graphic, Ponem Institute 2020)

17. Using a 12-Character Password Takes 62 Trillion Times Longer to Crack.

There’s science to back the fact that a 12-character password takes 62 trillion times longer to crack than shorter passwords.

This is the extended time it would take a computer to run all the possibilities for a 12-character password, not the human mind. 

(Scientific American) 

18. 65% of People Say They Don’t Trust Password Management Tools.

We learned earlier that password management software usage is on the rise these days.

However, a 2023 Password Manager/YouGov survey revealed that 62% of respondents said they don’t trust password managers.

Among this group, 60% had fallen victim to a security data breach in the past. 

(Password Manager)

19. 85% of Survey Respondents Said They Know It’s Risky to Use the Same Password Over and Over Again.

Despite the knowledge of 85% of the Password Manager/YouGov survey that it’s risky to reuse passwords on multiple accounts, it’s still being done.

In fact, the habit of reusing the same password across several online accounts is one of the riskiest behaviors in terms of password usage.

(Password Manager)

20. 48.4% of Survey Respondents Admitted that Nothing Would Convince Them to Use a Password Manager.

Besides 65% of people saying they don’t trust password managers, another 48.4% said they couldn’t be convinced to use one in the Password Manager/YouGov survey of 2023.

However, 35.8% of those surveyed said if they fell victim to a data breach, they would use a password manager.

(Password Manager)

FAQs

What Are the Most Common Passwords?

The most common passwords are often the easiest to guess, such as “123456”, “password”, and “qwerty”.

Other common passwords include names, birthdays, and pet names.

More commonly used passwords include 123456789, 12345, qwerty123, 1q2w3e, 12345678, 111111, and 1234567890.

How Many People Reuse Passwords?

A recent study found that 70% of people reuse passwords for their personal accounts.

This means that if one of your passwords is compromised, hackers could potentially access all your accounts.

What Are the Best Practices for Creating Strong Passwords?

Here are some ways to create strong passwords:

• Use a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
• Make your password at least 12 characters long.
• Avoid using personal information, such as your name, birthday, or address.
• Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts.
• Consider using a password manager to help you keep track of your passwords.

What Are the Risks of Using Weak Passwords?

Using weak passwords can put your personal information at risk.

If a hacker gains access to your password, they could potentially steal your identity, financial information, or other sensitive data.

How Can I Protect My Passwords?

Here are some things you can do to protect your passwords:

• Create strong passwords and use them for each of your online accounts.
• Avoid using personal information in your passwords.
• Never share your passwords with anyone.
• Consider using a password manager to help you keep track of your passwords.
• Keep your passwords up to date.
• Be aware of phishing scams.

How Long Does It Take to Crack a Password?

The time it takes to crack a password depends on the strength of the password.

A weak password can be cracked in seconds, while a strong password can take years.

Conclusion

Passwords are essential for protecting our online accounts.

However, many people use weak passwords or reuse passwords across multiple accounts.

This makes it easy for hackers to gain access to our accounts and steal our personal information.

To protect ourselves from hackers, we need to create strong passwords and use them for each of our online accounts.

We should also avoid using personal information in our passwords and never share our passwords with anyone.

If you’re struggling to create strong passwords, you can use a password manager to help you.

A password manager is a secure application that can store all of your passwords in one place. 

Password management tools make it easier to keep track of and even to monitor your passwords.

This way you can create strong, unique passwords for each of your accounts without relying on paper notes or your memory.

We hope this article about password statistics has enlightened you with the insights you need to create strong passwords and to protect yourself from hackers.

Sources

2021 Pandemic Security Side Effects Global SurveyA1T The Tech ChronicleBitwarden
Businesswire GraphicForbes AdvisorGoogle/Harris Poll
HelpNet SecurityHMSIndependent
MITNISTPassword Manager
Ponemon Institute 2020Scientific AmericanStatista

Stay on top of the latest technology trends — delivered directly to your inbox, free!

Subscription Form Posts

Don't worry, we don't spam

Written by Trevor Cooke

Trevor Cooke is an accomplished technology writer with a particular focus on privacy and security. He specializes in topics such as VPNs, encryption, and online anonymity. His articles have been published in a variety of respected technology publications, and he is known for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and accessible manner.