October 2023 is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
Launched by the National Cybersecurity Alliance, the initiative is a ‘collaboration between government and private industry to raise awareness about digital security and empower everyone to protect their personal data from digital forms of crime.’
With more and more cyber attacks happening in the UK every year, It’s predicted that a huge 33 billion records1 will be stolen in 2023. So it’s more important than ever for Brits to ensure they are protected online.
As part of our on-going work to raise awareness of cyber-crime and how organisations can keep their digital data protected, we have conducted a study to find out how many unique passwords Brits have, how they protect their passwords and how they create their passwords in the first place.
We polled 2,000 people in the UK to find out about their password habits.
When it comes to the number of passwords Brits have for their online accounts, a fifth (20%) said they have just 1-2 passwords for everything, whilst 30% said they have just 3-5 passwords.
The study also found that 15% of Brits change their passwords once a month, and a concerning 16% have never changed their passwords.
Analysing how Brits store their passwords, a huge 77% say they don’t use a password manager, and almost a quarter (23%) save passwords in the browser. The study also found a third (34%) of Brits say they generate their passwords randomly.
Tom Holloway, head of cybersecurity comments: “The fact that so many people reuse the same password on multiple accounts/services is a real worry. The concern is that if their credentials for one site are compromised, those credentials could be used to access a wide range of password protected services with relative ease. The simplest approach is to use a password manager which means that you don’t need to record them elsewhere, such as in their phone, in their browser or even on a written piece of paper. Storing your passwords in any insecure place that doesn’t even itself require a password to access, could result in them being very easily stolen.
“Using a password manager does all of the hard work for you. It will generate random passwords for you, makes it very simple to change your passwords, and enables them to be shared securely.”
Tom continues: “This research shows that, by no fault of their own, Brits are lacking a lot of knowledge when it comes to generating and storing their passwords. With cyber attacks becoming increasingly common, and the capabilities of cyber criminals becoming more and more complex, this is concerning. I would urge people to review all of their passwords and consider how guessable they really are. Updating them and installing a password manager takes just a few minutes, but could save you huge amounts of money, stress and time in the long run.”
For more tips and information on how to avoid cyber attacks, visit: https://www.redcentricplc.com/security/top-tips-to-effectively-mitigate-cyber-attacks-including-ransomware/