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A thought for your day, with my good wishes …

Weekend Poll Results: Password Security

With thanks to all who participated, here are your responses to my question … How seriously do you take your password security? 

Consider changing your passwords

61% of respondents reported using the same password for more than one log-in or account at the office. Consider that, if someone hacks that single password, s/he also has access to any other accounts secured by the same password.

People don’t necessarily use the same password, though, for all their business accounts. Almost a quarter of respondents use three passwords at the office, and more than half of you use four or more. One reader reported using 18 different passwords at the office.


Your passwords aren’t necessarily easy to crack

When I asked readers to rate how difficult it would be to crack your passwords, from a scale of 1 (embarrassingly easy) to 5 (challenging), 76% of you gave a rating of four or higher.


Have you considered a password management app?

15% of respondents use one. When you look at the data below, and the total number of passwords readers use for both business and personal use, a secure app may be a good resource.


If you’re really serious about cybersecurity …

… consider switching from passwords to pass phrases, which can be more challenging to hack. 34% of respondents have already begun using pass phrases.



Do you use the same password for more than one log-in or account at the office?

  • Yes: 61% of respondents
  • No: 39% of respondents


How many different passwords do you use at the office?

  • 1: 2.5% of respondents
  • 2: 18% of respondents
  • 3: 23% of respondents
  • 4: 15% of respondents
  • 5: 8% of respondents
  • More than 5: 33.5% of respondents, including one who reported using 18 different passwords at the office


Do you change passwords without prompting?

  • Yes: 6% of respondents
  • No: 35% of respondents
  • Only occasionally: 59% of respondents


On a scale of 1 (embarrassingly obvious) to 5 (challenging), how difficult would it be to crack your passwords?

  • 0% of respondents: 1 (embarrassingly obvious)
  • 6% of respondents: 2
  • 15% of respondents: 3
  • 44% of respondents: 4
  • 32% of respondents: 5 (challenging)
  • 3% of respondents selected “Other”. One person commented, “I use a password tracking app.”


Between work and personal use, how many different passwords do you estimate you use in total?

  • 0% of respondents: 1
  • 0% of respondents: 2
  • 3% of respondents: 3
  • 7% of respondents: 4
  • 7% of respondents: 5
  • 3% of respondents: 6
  • 8% of respondents: 7
  • 8% of respondents: 8
  • 7% of respondents: 9
  • 4.5% of respondents: 9 regularly; if I count my directors’ log-ins, 11 and more occasional use passwords
  • 9.5% of respondents: 10
  • 7% of respondents: 12
  • 4.5% of respondents: >12
  • 4.5% of respondents: 15
  • 4.5% of respondents: 20-39
  • 4.5% of respondents: over 25
  • 4.5% of respondents reported, “My password manager says 48”
  • 4.5% of respondents: 50
  • 4.5% of respondents: 114
  • 4.5% of respondents reported, “Each one is different. I’ve never counted.”


Do you use a password management app?

  • 15% of respondents: Yes
  • 82% of respondents: No
  • 3% of respondents selected “Other”. One person wrote, “Typed and kept hidden on PC”.


 I asked readers who use password management apps to identify them. Here’s what you said.

  • 1Password
  • Dashlane
  • Jive Password Manager
  • LastPass
  • a Chrome extension


 Do you use passwords or pass phrases as a rule?

  • 57% of respondents: passwords
  • 34% of respondents: pass phrases
  • 9% of respondents selected “Other”. One reader reported using both, while another uses acronyms. Another reader reported typically using a combination of words and special characters.


 If you’re a Twitter user, did you already know about the May 3/18 recommendation to change your password?

  • 61% of respondents: Yes
  • 29% of respondents: No


If you’re a Twitter user and knew about the May 3/18 recommendation to change passwords, did you do so?

  • 41% of respondents: Yes
  • 35% of respondents: No
  • 24% of respondents: No, but I will now


A thought for your day, with my good wishes …

Weekend Poll: How Seriously Do You Take Password Security?

A couple of weeks ago, Twitter issued a recommendation that its 336 million (yes) users change their passwords. 

The recommendation was, of course, issued via tweet. “We recently found a bug that stored passwords unmasked in an internal log. We fixed the bug and have no indication of a breach or misuse by anyone. As a precaution, consider changing your password on all services where you’ve used this password.”

I wonder how many Twitter users caught this recommendation … and how many acted on it. That got me to thinking about passwords in general.


Shifting from passwords to pass phrases

Think for a minute of how many times a day you enter a password, whether to unlock your smartphone, log on to your computer, access your voicemail, or simply enter a secured office area.

I’ve presented on cybersecurity twice in the last year, for EPAA and for Executive Secretary LIVE, and will speak again on the topic this October, when I’ll be presenting to executive assistants at the APC (Administrative Professionals Conference) in Kissimmee, Florida.

There are a number of  practices you can put in place to protect digital security. Thoughtful development of passwords is among them. Regularly changing passwords is another. If you really want to make it difficult for others to lift your password, you can switch from using passwords to pass phrases.

This leads to the topic of my latest weekend poll …

How seriously do you take your password security?

Please take a couple of minutes to complete the poll below. As always, I look forward to hearing what you have to say and will publish results early next week.

“Select” whichever responses apply, and remember to CLICK on the “VOTE” ICON AFTER EACH QUESTION.


A thought for your day, with my good wishes …

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