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Study finds that almost 6 in 10 people are happy to share their passwords with others

In a world full of imminent hacking attacks all the way, more than half of the people are still willing to share their online passwords with others, according to a recent study.

While security experts worldwide have long urged everyone to bolster their cyberdefences, given that cyberattacks continue to grow more sophisticated, common and daunting, a recent McAfee study, which surveyed 3,000 people across the US, UK, France, Germany and Australia, a shocking 59% of respondents said they were comfortable with sharing their passwords with others.

The survey found that the most commonly shared passwords were for video-streaming services such as Netflix or Hulu.


On the other hand, about 37% of respondents admitted that they keep track of their online passwords by listing them all down on paper and keeping it in a place they consider safe. Among the UK respondents, around 13% said they write down their passwords and keep them near their computer, International Business Times reports.

Other “easy” measures used by people to keep track of their passwords are: emailing them to themselves (9%), storing them in a notes app on their smartphone (8%), using a spreadsheet or other document on their computer (7%), or hiding the passwords in fake contacts on their phone (6%).

Security strength is the main concern when creating passwords for 44% of respondents, while 34% said they were more concerned about the ease of remembering their passwords.

According to the study, one in 10 UK respondents admitted forgetting passwords all the time, and 46% said they forget it occasionally. About 69% resort to going through the “Forgot password” sequence when they do forget their password with 14% repeatedly trying various passwords until they are eventually locked out.

Among those who  forgot their password, around 75% choose to abandon whatever they were trying to do online.

Also, a seemingly routine but dangerous practice – reusing passwords across multiple accounts – is used by more than 34% of US respondents, while approximately 20% said they use some form of password management software.

McAfee Fellow and chief scientist Raj Samani told IBTimes UK that many people still resort to using embarassingly weak passwords such as their dog’s name to access their online accounts.


The study also revealed that in the UK, 44% of respondents said all of their internet-connected devices have a password or some form of access control, while the rest admitted having at least one connected device that does not have a password or access control.

Madeline Gorthon