The Young Whippersnappers Aren't As Smart As They Think


Frequent readers of our blog and newsletter will know that aside from reviewing antivirus software, we also preach a good sermon about security in general and about how to make good passwords and password management.

The fine folks at gigya.com, a company that specializes in identity management, know a thing or two about passwords, too.

In fact, they've just posted a comprehensive survey and analysis on people and passwords. There are a lot of great points in the piece, so it's worth a read. (Let me put it more clearly for the kids in the cheap seats: READ IT.) Here are a few highlights:

  1. Just 16% of people follow best practices for passwords.
  2. Respondents 51-69 "are the most cautious when it comes to password duplications" (Nice work, ladies and gents!)
  3. 53% of Baby Boomers never use "easy-to-remember yet unsecure passwords" (Nice work x2!)
  4. Just 4% of Boomers use the same password everywhere compared to 8% for Millennials. (x3!)
  5. 20% of Boomers create unique passwords for every site; just 12% of Millennials do. (And, we have another win scored for the Boomers.)

I'm going to pilfer a table from the Gigya report here that shows the effect being smart about passwords has in the big picture. (Did I mention you should read the whole thing??)

In the past 12 months, how many of your
online accounts have been compromised?
Millenials Generation X Baby Boomers
0 65% 72% 82%
1-3 27% 22% 17%
4-6 6% 4% 1%
7-9 1% 1% 0%
10+ 1% 1% 0%

Given that our readership tends to skew 50+, we're pleased as punch the message is getting through. (No, we're not taking all the credit for the message getting through because of us, just for adding our voices to the chorus.)

Oh, and if you've not seen them here are two reports of our own you should also have a look at: