Boomers and Password Security

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A recent Harris Interactive survey on e-commerce and passwords showed that Baby Boomers were disproportionately af­fected by online pass­word difficulties. Nineteen percent of online U.S. adults between ages 55-64 had given up on a purchase from an e-commerce Web site because they forgot a username or password. The password difficulties were not limited to e-com­merce sites. More than 80 percent of U.S. adults between ages 55-64 who use the Internet have forgotten a password, and 54 percent have had to use the “re­set password” option to retrieve account information.

In response to the Harris Interactive survey, Dashlane, a password manager and digital wallet app, analyzed inter­nal data to better understand how pass­words affect the online experience of Baby Boomers. Dashlane’s app provides a 100-point Security Score that analyzes a users’ password strength. The Dash­lane analysis found that the average score for a user over 55 on the first day they used Dashlane was 47. After 2 months of using the product, this score increased by 7.5 percent to 51. There was also a decrease in the percentage of users over 55 who reused a password for more than one account.

Reusing a password for multiple ac­counts leaves a user more vulnerable to hackers and data breaches. These figures suggest Boomers who utilize password managers are better protected from threats, as they are creating passwords that are more secure, as well as account specific.

According to an eMarketer study, Baby Boomers spend more time and money online than any other group. They are also disproportionately affected by password restraints in e-com­merce transactions.

Not surprisingly, password managers are an increasingly popu­lar solution for tech-savvy Boomers—allowing consumers to securely store their passwords and per­sonal data. These apps, which encrypt in­formation so only users can access it, can also expedite the checkout process and decrease the number of passwords a con­sumer must remember and the amount of information they need to reenter.

Published: March 2014

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