So many of us are still using a single password across all our accounts

(Image credit: italii Vodolazskyi / Shutterstock)

If you’re using the same password across all of your accounts, you’re not alone, new research has once again found.

A report from found the majority of Americans (68%) are doing reusing password, putting their data, and possibly their financials, at risk of cyber theft. 

To make matters worse, the most used password in the country is “123456”, something most malicious actors are well aware of and usually test when brute-forcing an account.

According to the report, based on a survey of 1,012 adults living in the States, the number of Americans sharing their passwords with others is up by a quarter, mostly due to the rising popularity of video streaming services. 

Today, almost two in every five Americans (37%) share passwords with others, the paper said, adding that 88 million accounts are “borrowed” from someone else.

The consequences of such actions are as one would expect - 40% of US adults’ passwords have been hacked, and the majority aren’t confident in the strength of their passwords. Some are taking action, though. Almost all (85%) are using two-factor authentication, and more than a quarter (27%) are now using password generators (up by almost 100% year-on-year, from 15% a year ago). The use of password managers is also up by 10%.

Longer passwords more common

More and more adults are also growing more conscious about password strength. Almost all (84%) now use passwords with eight or more characters. Still, there’s more work to be done in securing their online assets, as more than half still use familiar names in their passwords, including their own name, their children’s names, their pet’s names, and so on. 

Security experts are warning against such practices, saying that whatever criminals can learn about you from your social media presence, should not be used as a password.

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.