There’s No Need to Trade Celibacy for Cybersecurity

An alarming new report finds that nearly 40 percent of Americans would give up sex for a year if it meant never having to worry about being hacked. Fortunately, there are less drastic ways of achieving security.

The study, from online identity and password management Dashlane, is based on a poll of 2,000 U.S. adults conducted by Harris.

It found that nearly four in ten Americans (39%) would sacrifice sex for one year if it meant they never had to worry about being hacked, having their identity stolen, or their accounts breached.

But would they sacrifice a bit of their time?

This is the crucial factor: time. All it takes is a bit of preparation and your chances of having data compromised are drastically reduced.

Simple things like using complex passwords – and changing them often – can increase your level of security to a dramatic degree.

Here are some of the alarming facts Dashlane has uncovered in its research:

  • 45% of Americans have either trusted someone with – or been entrusted with – a password, with email (23%) and streaming services (21%) leading the list. People are most protective of passwords tied to their purse strings.
  • The least shared passwords include those for retail accounts (14%), banking/investment/student loan accounts (9%), and insurance provider accounts (6%).
  • Younger Americans are consistently more trusting/trusted than older Americans – 64% of millennials (aged 18-34) admit to sharing or receiving passwords (vs. 37% of those 35+).
  • Interestingly, married Americans are less likely to say they’ve trusted someone with passwords or been entrusted with one themselves (41% vs. 49% unmarried Americans).

The strongest passwords are unique and random strings of letters and numbers, but Americans are continuing to make weak password choices with easily identifiable personal information.

  • When it comes to Americans’ password preferences, roughly three in 10 (31%) have used a pet’s name, while over two in 10 each have used number sequences (23%), a family member’s name (22%), or a birthday (21%).
  • Nearly one in 10 each have used anniversaries (9%), sports teams (9%), addresses (9%) or phone numbers (8%).

However, many Americans suffer from “password fatigue” due to the inconvenience of maintaining so many password protocols:

  • Most Americans admit needing help accessing online accounts: Roughly eight in 10 (81%) have asked for assistance (hints, security questions, password resets, etc.) to access any of their accounts or apps before, and more than six in ten (62%) needed a helping hand multiple times a year. What’s more, nearly one in four (23%) people seek help at least once a month.
  • Over a third of Americans (36%) say they’ve abandoned an online transaction in the past when they couldn’t remember a password, a likely pain point for online retailers. This impact is stronger among women (40%, vs. 32% of men).

Sex isn’t the only thing people would give up to save on cybersecurity headaches. Four in 10 people (41%) would rather give up their favorite food for a month than go through the password reset process for all their online accounts.

According to Dashlane, the average user has over 100 accounts, so it’s practically impossible to remember every password.

Advice: A password manager will do the job for you, and ensure that your accounts are always being safeguarded against unknown threats.

Yes, as with everything else these days, there is tech designed to help you manage your tech. If you’re suffering from “password fatigue” look into the options available for creating, safely storing and otherwise managing these all-important gatekeepers of your personal data.

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