Progress Made on Password Protection

Smartphone users are taking some of the preliminary precautions to protect their passwords, but could be doing a better job, according to a recently released survey from Keeper Security.

The survey found that the risky practice of sharing passwords with others is relatively rare, with nearly 64 percent of respondents said they never share passwords, and another 29 percent said they share them with no more than two people.

Resetting passwords is quite common. More than 80 percent of responders said they have reset a password at least once within the previous 60 days. Frequent password resets are considered one of the best ways to foil prospective intruders. But the practice may be driven more by necessity than by security awareness. Just over half (52 percent) of respondents said they store passwords by remembering them. However, 23 percent of respondents said they still write their passwords on paper.

Use of social media authentication – also called Open Authorization or “OAuth” – is common. More than three-quarters of the users we surveyed use OAuth on at least one service, and 45 percent use it on three or more. While OAuth rocks for convenience, it also may potentially expose personally identifiable information to third-party applications, so be careful.

More than half (55 percent) of smartphone owners have never downloaded protective software. Of the 45 percent who have, more than half have used an antivirus or anti-malware solution.

Reuse of the same password across multiple applications is quite common, with nearly 84 percent of users telling us that they access at least two different applications or websites with the same credentials.

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