It’s World Password Day and we decided to mark the occasion by sharing some password stats from a recent consumer survey that we carried out in the US and UK. The full report will be released in mid-May but a few findings stood out:
The average US consumer abandons 16 online purchases a year due to password frustration
This is a staggering number. It means that almost every three weeks, every American citizen is abandoning a purchase online because they forget their password and the process for retrieving it takes too long. And it's a similar story in the UK, with 15 online purchases a year being left at the checkout by the average consumer.
This results in two key problems. Firstly, it means enormous frustration for the customer. Imagine the steps involved: a customer spends valuable time deciding what to buy. They make the decision to purchase and are faced with a request to Register or Login. Have I bought something on this website before? I’m sure I have. Several attempts at remembering their login details later, the customer becomes extremely frustrated and requests a password reminder. This either doesn’t arrive quickly enough or goes into spam. Purchase abandoned.
This leads to the second point: businesses are losing millions in revenue because of password frustration. Each missed sale represents lost dollars but there’s also the loss of the customer’s longer term business, along with the wasted marketing investment in getting a customer to checkout, only for the login to cause confusion and frustration.
Passwords are frustrating and they lead to lost business. But what is also clear from the survey results is that consumers are struggling to follow the recommendations on password management. The guidelines - for example, creating a unique password for every account - are too onerous for the average individual:
Only a quarter of people regularly change their passwords
The majority of people are not following guidelines to change their passwords frequently:
- 44% of Americans and 40% of Brits only change passwords when they forget them or are prompted to change them
- 5% of people in both regions only change passwords when they get hacked
- 8% of Americans and 9% of UK consumers never change their passwords at all
- However, 3% of Americans and 5% of UK consumers change their passwords every month
13% use the same password for everything
37% of Americans and 39% of Brits are managing to follow the guidelines by having a different password for every site. However, most people rotate a few passwords (46% in the US and 49% in the UK), while 13% of Americans and 10% of Brits use the same password for everything.
Most people avoid the ‘suggested password’ when creating an account
89% of Americans and 90% of Brits choose to create their own passwords when registering for a new account, instead of using the auto-generated secure suggestion (9% in both regions). Only a few choose to sign in with Google or Facebook credentials (3% in US and 1% in UK).
Nearly half of consumers have shared the PIN for their phones with their partners
The evidence suggests that we’re willing to share our passwords; 44% of Americans and 41% of Brits have given their partner the PIN to access their phones.
Men are less worried about data privacy than women
76% of Americans and 70% of UK citizens believe that individuals should be worried about data privacy, but men are less likely to be concerned than women (US: 69% men vs 82% women, UK: 63% vs 78%).
“Everyone knows that passwords are not secure," says Andrew Bud, iProov Founder and CEO. "But the solution that is being applied to weak password security is to make passwords more complicated.
"Perhaps that’s why half of the population of both the US and the UK have abandoned online purchases in the past year, and businesses have lost millions of dollars – we just can’t remember our passwords.
“Imagine a world in which you never forget a password because there aren’t any. You simply authenticate yourself with biometrics – it remembers you even when you haven’t visited a site for months, providing exceptional usability and outstanding security to remove the frustration and make everyone’s lives better.”
Find out how iProov can reduce password reliance with Genuine Presence Assurance technology. The full report containing all of the password survey results will be released on 20 May - follow iProov on LinkedIn or Twitter to be alerted when it’s available.