Keep updating the data
Cybersecurity experts generally recommend a number of steps for users to take in order to reduce their exposure to data theft, such as using a different, complex password for each account; not sharing passwords with others; using some sort of security feature on their smartphones; and always updating their smartphones’ apps and operating system to ensure that they have the latest security updates.Although many Americans are utilizing at least some of these steps, this survey finds that less-than-optimum cybersecurity habits are widespread.Most experts agree that saving passwords in browsers is OK if the passwords are unique to each site, however they also agree that password management software outside the browser is preferable.Meanwhile, just 12% of online adults say that they ever use password management software to keep track of their passwords – and only 3% rely on this technique as their primary method for storing passwords.And although 15% of these users indicate that they use password management software for some of their passwords, just 4% say this is the technique they rely on the most.Beyond using password management software, cybersecurity experts recommend a number of other “best practices” to users.Among social media users ages 18 to 29, more than half (56%) have done so.For a relatively substantial minority of online Americans, password management can be a stressful and uncertain process.
Passwords are the first line of defense against unauthorized access to user data, and people’s password habits – such as how they manage their passwords, or whether they use passwords that are simple or complex – directly impact their overall security.
In addition, the approach to managing password that is most recommended by security professionals – password management software – is used relatively rarely across a wide range of demographic groups.
College graduates tend to rely more heavily on these programs than most, but even among this “high usage” group, only 17% use these programs at all – and just 7% indicate that they use them as the sole or primary method for managing their passwords.
Many sites rely on individuals to choose strong passwords as the first line of defense for their online accounts, but there are other technologies that aim to improve – or in some cases replace –the password itself.
The first of these techniques is known as “multifactor” or “two-factor” authentication.