Despite the increased number of cyberattacks in the past 18 months, work-at-home employees still practice poor password hygiene, according to a new report from LogMeIn’s LastPass.
To compile his fourth “Psychology of PasswordsIn a global report, the password management company commissioned market research firm Lab42 to survey 3,750 professionals across a wide range of industries in the US, UK, Germany, Australia, Singapore, France and India.
According to the report, 92 percent of respondents are aware that using the same password or a variation of it poses a risk, but 65 percent still reuse passwords for their accounts. While consumers have a good understanding of proper password protection and the actions to take to minimize risk, they still choose which information to apply that knowledge to.
LastPass also found that most users create passwords that use personal information that may be related to public records, such as a birthday or home address. Despite the fact that 79 percent of respondents agreed that compromised passwords are a problem, more than half still rely on their memory to keep track of passwords instead of using a password manager.
More time online means more risk
As the pandemic has led to people spending more time online, 91 percent of respondents said they have created at least one new account this year. In fact, 90 percent of those surveyed now have up to 50 online accounts that require them to remember passwords.
The LastPass report also found that nearly half (47%) of respondents did not change their online security habits while working remotely, with 44 percent admitting to sharing sensitive information and passwords for their work accounts during that time. This means that nearly half of employees engage in risky password behavior while working remotely, and IT admins take this into account when designing their organization’s hybrid work policies.
Account type also plays a role when consumers create passwords, as 68 percent said they create stronger passwords for financial accounts, while only 32 percent said they would create strong passwords for their work-related accounts.
Dan DeMichele, vice president of product management at LastPass, provided more insight into the report’s findings in a press release, saying:
“Our latest report shows the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic amid the increased time we spent online, which in turn has increased our vulnerability to potential hackers. As we continue to expand our online presence, we need more robust protections for our online information. One way to combat this is to invest in a password manager that can securely store your personal and digital information. As a business or IT lead, adding an extra layer of security, including multi-factor authentication or single sign-on options, can ensure that your employees are the only ones who have access to their information.”