How willing are you to change your password? 38% of people would rather clean a toilet, according to a study

I’ll be the first to admit that, despite knowing better, I hate changing my password. In fact, even when I am forced to change my password, such as when some systems and websites force users to change their password after a certain amount of time has passed, I always try to fall back on a previously used password. (Don’t follow my example. Do as I say, not as I do.) Why do I hate changing my password? The same reason most people hate changing their password — we need to memorize the damn things. Of course having a password manager somewhat mitigates the need to memorize, but you still need to have an idea of what your passwords are because you won’t be able to carry that password manager around with you everywhere. And no one likes doing that.

In fact, according to the 2012 Online Registration and Password study conducted by Harris Interactive and sponsored by Janrain, 38% of people would rather do household chores — such as cleaning a room, washing dishes, or cleaning a toilet — than create a new username and password. On top of that, 38% of people think it is easier to attain world peace than remember all their passwords. See what I mean when I say no one likes new passwords?

Other insights provided by the study are:

  • 58% of adult have 5 or more unique passwords
    • 30% have 10 or more unique passwords
    • 8% have 21 or more unique passwords (!)
  • 75% of people claim to try to create the strongest password possible (as opposed to using dictionary words)
  • 84% of people hate registering on websites

That last part about people hating to register on websites is no surprising but I am surprised that 75% claim to try to use the strongest password possible. Then again, it is a well known fact people tend to exaggerate, if not lie, in online survey to try to make themselves look better so that 75% stat may not be exactly accurate. Or it may be. I don’t know.

So… let’s hear it. Does the above study describe how you feel about passwords? Let me us know in the comments below.

[via Janrain | Image via Ron Bennetts]

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10 comments

  1. Bull

    I absolutely hate having to make passwords, and the need to have an idea of what they are. Thats why I use LastPass, so I have access to all my passwords on another computer.

    Though I have to say, I rarely do so unless it is on a computer of someone i trust and lets me use keyscrambler on their computer. After explaining KeyScrambler to them, they are more than happy to let me do so.

  2. Philippe

    As I remember, it’s not the complicated password which is usefull but the length of it. Then I use a 13 characters one for not important pages, and a 16 one for cc and banks. That’s all what I do, and I never writte it down in full, just an hint of it. Inside I have a few non conventional character like a + for a t… e+c….

  3. John

    @meldasue:
    You can use a portable password manager with your restricted user account. That should be possible.

    Portable KeePass would be an option. ;)

    PS: Thats no advertisement for KeePass, only a suggestion.

  4. Frank D

    I use Password Generator (http://www.securesafepro.com/pasgen.php?source=pasgen126) to generate 12-character passwords with upper and lower-case letters, numerals and special symbols (excluding dubious ones). I then paste the logon and password for all sites in a log (txt) file with a generic name and store it in my Documents folder. I carry a paper copy of the list with me (I know — a weak point) and email myself a copy of the list on Google, so I can pick up a copy on the web from anywhere.

    Using this system, I don’t mind creating tough passwords for accounts.

  5. meldasue

    Our IT people joke about our ‘super-sekrit password lists’ that we’re not supposed to have but couldn’t survive without. We’ve got a dozen or so regularly-changing passwords at work (and we can’t install anything, so a password manager is out of the question). One co-worker joked about a work comp claim for password fatigue.

  6. John

    I also use KeePass with KeeFox extension for Firefox. It’s more secure then the internal password manager and simple (sometimes an update break the connection, but until now I always was able to fix it ;). Since I use it, all my private passwords are unique.

    A password manager makes it very easy to use complex and long passwords. 25 chars are my default for a long time and most websites allow even longer passwords.

    So I’m one of the 75% – and I don’t know anyone who does not hate registering on websites. That’s a pain except if you can use single sign on like a Goolge account or something like this.

  7. njwood60

    I use Keepass – on PC and phone. That way I always have my passwords. Unique password for everything and I only need to remember 3 passwords – PC, Keepass and Credit card pin. No idea what my other passwords are. Keepass has autofill on the PC so no drama at all. I’m one of the 75% with strong passwords. I’m also one of the 84% that hates registering on websites!