We're all still making these ridiculous password mistakes

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Although 99% of Brits say they are familiar with password security best practice, the majority still aren’t putting it to use.

Research from password manager provider Bitwarden finds that 59% of Brits 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.

Despite the average Brit thinking they are knowledgeable about password hygiene, 86% are also still making the mistake of reusing passwords across multiple sites.

Password problems

The country is also falling behind in terms of password length; 69% of Brits have an average password length of 9-15 characters, despite 14 being considered by Bitwarden as a secure starting point.

The UK is well ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to the frequency of data breaches too. Over a third (35%) of UK respondents experienced a data breach within the last 18 months, compared to 23% globally. 

However, despite being behind in some areas, 82% of UK respondents use two-factor authentication (2FA) for workplace accounts and 81% use it for personal accounts (with the assistance of security keys), ahead of the rest of the world.

“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.”

Indeed, there is evidence to suggest phishing attacks show no sign of slowing down, suggesting Brits would benefit from putting a little extra effort into password hygiene and ID theft protection.

Will McCurdy has been writing about technology for over five years. He has a wide range of specialities including cybersecurity, fintech, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, cloud computing, payments, artificial intelligence, retail technology, and venture capital investment. He has previously written for AltFi, FStech, Retail Systems, and National Technology News and is an experienced podcast and webinar host, as well as an avid long-form feature writer.