With life moving more and more into the digital domain and hybrid work solutions potentially creating more vulnerabilities concerning sensitive data, adequate password security is one of the key concerns for the cybersecurity sector. Although programs like password managers and built-in password vaults in browsers are geared towards maximizing security by generating and storing complicated passphrases, 41 percent of U.S. Americans still rely on memorizing techniques to store their passwords.
As data from a joint survey of security.org and YouGov shows, an additional 30 percent of respondents claimed to have their passwords written out on paper. While this is technically a safe way to store your passphrases, it's rarely convenient and can still be a potential attack point when using said notes outside of the confines of your own home. 24 and 23 percent keep their passwords in their browser or a digital note file, respectively, while one fifth of survey participants commit one of the cardinal sins of cybersecurity: Reusing the same few passwords again and again.
For the 20 percent who use password managers, which are programs that can generate passwords, store them in a digital vault locked behind a master password and enable synchronization across devices, LastPass, Keeper and McAfee True Key are the most popular solutions.
Following an initiative by chipmaker Intel in 2013, every first Thursday in May is observed as World Password Day. This international observance is meant to underline the importance of using secure and strong passwords to protect users' data and privacy. These efforts still seem to fall short, though: According to an analysis of a database containing over 275 million passwords by NordPass, the three most common passwords used in 2021 were 123456, 123456789 and 12345.