The world's leading password manager and secure digital vault, today announced the results of a survey involving 1,115 adults over the age of 18 regarding password behaviors. Two important distinctions emerged from the results: people still have terrible password hygiene but think that the use of biometrics, such as fingerprint and facial recognition, for identity access to their devices will remedy their bad habits.
Recent predict that by 2020, 100% of smartphones, wearables and tablets will have biometric capabilities. This is apparently good news to 66% of the survey respondents who think biometrics are strong authentication and accountability tools that are convenient and hard to fake.
"We were alarmed to find that consumers think the use of fingerprint and facial recognition to gain access to their devices or logins makes them safer. This is not always the case, especially when biometrics are used as the only method to authenticate a user. Biometrics as a second factor for authentication are best because as a single factor, there is major risk. If the biometric is stolen, it can never be changed. Biometrics are simply a convenience method that call upon a password to authenticate the user," said Darren Guccione, CEO and Co-founder of Keeper Security. "While this action is convenient, if the underlying password is weak, for example, 123456, the account can be easily compromised."
The survey found that people's password habits aren't getting better. Despite having to log into multiple systems, websites and other digital resources daily, most respondents choose to store their passwords 'in their heads (48%).' The second most common place to store them is 'on paper.' Astoundingly, a third of respondents still commit the password no-no of using the same password for multiple logins. In fact, Millennials, ages the 18-24 year old, are the worst offenders, with 36.5% of them reusing the same passwords for different logins.
A surprising 38.9% of respondents think fingerprint and facial recognition tools are more secure than passwords. Other recent surveys and studies on biometrics show that a majority of consumers see these biometric techniques as effective for securing online payments and as a means of eliminating password use and the annoyance created when passwords are forgotten.
It is clear that biometrics is surely convenient and growing in popularity, but it's important for the public to understand the difference between security and convenience. Biometrics cannot provide security on their own merit, and a strong password management strategy is critical in preventing cyber-attacks and data theft.