A recent Pew Research Center report details American sentiments toward data security and privacy. The findings, all of which are compelling in their own right, span topics from artificial intelligence to user privacy to how the government uses data.
As data breaches continue to rise, the risk of stolen credentials being used in an attack increases as well. Pew reports that 26% of Americans faced fraudulent charges on their debit or credit cards in 2023. While these incidents are not all conclusively linked to data breaches, such events are a known source of credential theft that often leads to financial fraud. The findings align with those from the 2023 Bitwarden World Password Day Survey, which cite that 20% of respondents were affected by a data breach in the past 18 months.
The numbers cited above would likely be lower if strong and unique passwords were utilized to protect sensitive data. That however, is far from what happens with most people today Pew gives us an idea.
In the same report, the organization reports that a whopping 7 in 10 Americans are “overwhelmed by the number of passwords they have to remember” with 45% “feeling anxious about whether their passwords are strong and secure.”
Let’s delve into these findings to understand how effective credential management can address these concerns and help protect their data at home or in the workplace.
It’s clear why many Americans feel overwhelmed by the number of passwords they have to remember and anxious about whether their passwords are strong enough. People manage passwords for work, financial accounts, retail accounts, social media, and a multitude of other entities. In fact, the 2023 Bitwarden World Password Day Survey found a majority (68%) of respondents manage passwords for 10+ sites or apps. Despite that, 84% of respondents reuse passwords. This is also understandable. Organically coming up with strong and unique passwords for all accounts will quickly grow taxing.
However, reusing passwords significantly increases security risks. A compromised reused password means cyber criminals potentially have access to multiple accounts. The password reuse habit can also be a tough one to shake. In the 2023 Bitwarden World Password Day Survey, 26% of those who reuse passwords admitted to reusing the same password for more than a decade, and 60% reported using the same password for 3+ years.
In considering why people reuse passwords, it’s worth taking a second look at the language in the Pew report. Pew makes a point of stating that Americans are “overwhelmed by the number of passwords they have to remember.” The key word here? “Remember.”
Remembering multiple passwords is incredibly challenging. This is backed up by the 2023 Bitwarden World Password Day Survey, which revealed that 58% of respondents rely on their memory for managing passwords.
Fortunately, there’s a solution.
A recent Today Show segment discussed how to protect your data from scammers by decluttering your devices, including Bitwarden Password Manager as one of the top recommended solutions).
“When it comes to password managers, it’s exactly what it sounds like. You only have to remember a single password, to the vault of the secure passwords it generates for you. Anytime you go to a website that needs you to log in, the password manager app pops up, you enter your master password, and it generates a secure password for you and remembers it for you.” - The Today Show
Reputable credential managers make it easy for individuals and businesses to generate, consolidate, and autofill strong and secure passwords for all accounts. They typically operate cross-platform and are protected by end-to-end encryption. The Bitwarden Password Manager offers its users unlimited password storage across unlimited devices. It’s trusted and open source, allowing every line of code protecting the platform to be inspected and scrutinized. Although transitioning from memory (unreliable and mentally taxing) to a password manager may initially seem daunting, setting up a password manager like Bitwarden is straightforward and intuitive.
An enterprise password manager secures data and saves time. Bitwarden enables employees to securely share passwords, integrates seamlessly with existing SSO services, and provides detailed reporting and event logs for better visibility. According to the 2023 Bitwarden Password Decisions Survey, 79% of IT leaders want a single password manager for employees. This approach can address common credential challenges and significantly improve current password management practices. Teams and enterprises can get started quickly with a free trial. Individual users can take advantage of the premium plan for $10/year or the free plan.
Got questions? The Bitwarden team has you covered at the free weekly demo.