Report: you know how to set a secure password and you just don’t do it

A recent consumer report shows the psychology around why they develop poor password habits despite understanding the obvious risk, and suggests that there is a level of cognitive dissonance around our online habits.

Lab42, a Chicago-based online market research startup that uses social networks, such as Facebook and MySpace, to obtain samples for online surveys, put together this report by polling consumers across the United States, Germany, France, New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.

The survey revealed that the majority of respondents understand that their digital behavior puts them at risk, but do not make efforts to change it.

Only five percent of respondents didn’t know the characteristics of a secure password, with the majority of respondents understanding that passwords should contain uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Furthermore, 91 percent of respondents said that there is inherent risk associated with reusing passwords, yet 61 percent continue to use the same or similar passwords anyway, with more than half doing so while fully understanding the risk.

Reina Ho

Reina Ho is a freelance reporter who focuses on censorship and information control in online space.

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