Americans Find Password Management as Stressful as Retirement

New research by NordPass explores people's password managing habits

Password management can be as stressful as planning for retirement, reveals new research by NordPass. More than 30% of people think that resetting and coping with passwords is hugely stressful and can be compared to the stress of ceasing to work.

However, losing a vital password without a password reset option is far more stressful. 67% of the respondents agreed that it’s as stressful as dismissal from work or changing jobs.

Data breach and identity theft were deemed even more stressful. 76% of respondents compared data breach to personal injury, illness, and financial problems. 80% compared identity theft to having personal documents stolen or losing a wallet.

Too many passwords

Why is password management so difficult? 66% of the survey respondents say that it’s because they simply have too many accounts to manage. 41% can’t remember which password is for which account, and 38% can’t remember because they use unique ones for every account.  

“It is not surprising that people struggle with effective password hygiene. Our study revealed that seven out of 10 respondents in the U.S. have more than 10 password-protected accounts for personal use. Two out of 10 have more than 50 such accounts. On top of that, add all work-related accounts, and it ends up being a huge amount of information,” says Chad Hammond, security expert at NordPass. 

Not all accounts are the same

NordPass' research also confirmed that people view some accounts as more important than others. 82% of people think it would be very harmful if their bank accounts get hacked. 73% agree that having their personal email hacked would be extremely damaging, and 71% feel that way about large online store accounts. 

“People tend to worry about financial accounts more. But it’s important to remember that if you use weak or repurposed passwords, it doesn’t matter which account gets hacked. In essence, all accounts become jeopardized,” says security expert at NordPass

Sadly, even the most critical accounts are left insufficiently secured. Only 53% use a unique password to protect banking or other financial accounts. Similarly, only 46% protect their personal email account with a unique password. 

Cybercrime victims don’t take action

Out of all the people surveyed, 22% have been victims of cybercrime. The study reveals that victims become more concerned about their email, forums or entertainment, communication, health apps’ accounts. They also acknowledge the necessity of strong passwords for these accounts more often. However, victims of cybercrime don’t tend to secure their accounts with unique passwords more often than those who haven’t experienced cybercrime.

"We started seeing a pattern when comparing the data of cybercrime victims and those who have never fallen prey. People who have been hacked tend to have more password-protected accounts. They’re also more ready to admit it’s extremely challenging to manage them," says Chad Hammond, security expert at NordPass.

Source: NordPass