59% of Brits rely on memory to manage passwords with 35% having to reset every day or multiple times a week

Bitwarden, the open-source password manager for both consumers and businesses, has announced the results of its second annual global password management survey. While receptive to the importance of security, individuals continue to struggle with embracing habits that could better protect their data.

In the UK, 35% of respondents experienced a data breach within the last 18 months, compared to about one in four (23%) globally. The majority of Brits (86%) log in to websites or apps multiple times a day, which may help explain why 68% of respondents believe it is more important for a password to be secure than be easy to remember. Almost all (99%) Brits state they are ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ familiar with password security best practice, but are those best practices being put to use?

  • Almost half of UK respondents (59%) still rely on their memory to manage passwords, but 35% need to reset their passwords every day or multiple times a week because they can’t remember them
  • While Brits believe they are knowledgeable of password best practices, 86% still reuse passwords across multiple sites
  • 69% of Brits have an average password length of 9-15 characters (14 is considered a secure start point)
  • Of those surveyed globally, Americans are most likely (44%) to use a password manager compared to Brits (37%) and Germans (32%)
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA) has gone global: 82% of UK respondents use 2FA for workplace accounts and 81% use it for personal accounts. Globally, that number sits lower at 73% for work and 78% for personal

Despite well-documented geopolitical tumult and an increased attack surface from remote work practices, password managers in the workplace have yet to truly take off. Only 34% of Brits are required to use a password manager at work. Globally, that number (25%) is even lower. In both cases, a majority (69% in the UK and 64% globally) of respondents believe workplaces should provide employees with a password manager to protect credentials.

“The importance of password management best practices is getting through to people,” said Bitwarden CEO Michael Crandell. “Individuals understand they should be secure and that recognition is an important first step. But they can better protect themselves by embracing tools such as password managers that are readily available, and free. Password managers mitigate the need for an over-reliance on memory and password reuse across multiple sites.”

“Despite the documented effectiveness and low cost of password managers, workplaces surprisingly often leave employees to figure password management out themselves,” added Crandell. “Employers should pay heed to the fact that employees want to be protected. In addition to the desire for password management software, 83% of global respondents believe employers should provide security tools and training specifically for a remote work environment. Cybersecurity risks are only increasing, so the time to make these changes is now.”