We’re excited to release our 2018 City Security Rankings (™). The rankings examine the password security in America’s 20 most populous metropolitan areas as well as 20 additional cities that are home to some of the country’s most important companies and government agencies.

The scores were based on several metrics, including average password strength and average number of reused passwords.

“The analysis reveals numerous regional trends that suggest people in certain areas may take their password security more seriously than others,” said Emmanuel Schalit, CEO of Dashlane. “Our intention, as always, is to inspire everyone to take identity management into their own hands and to use the available tools for the most secure digital presence possible.”

City Security Rankings 2018

2018 Dashlane City Security Rankings (™)

  1. Minneapolis, MN
  2. Seattle, WA
  3. San Francisco – Oakland, CA
  4. Detroit, MI
  5. Chicago, IL
  6. Denver, CO
  7. New York, NY
  8. Saint Louis, MO
  9. Washington, DC
  10. Miami – Fort Lauderdale, FL
  11. Riverside, CA
  12. Boston, MA
  13. Philadelphia, PA
  14. San Diego, CA
  15. Tampa – St. Petersburg, FL
  16. Los Angeles, CA
  17. Dallas, TX
  18. Phoenix, AZ
  19. Houston, TX
  20. Atlanta, GA

What’s Trending?

Mess With Texas

Things might be bigger in Texas, but not when it comes to passwords: All of the Texas locations scored near the bottom in both rankings. Folks in Dallas might take solace knowing that like their football team, their passwords were also better than Houston’s. D-Town > H-Town.

NorCal vs. SoCal

When it comes to ranking the best tacos, we don’t have the data, but NorCal officially takes cybersecurity bragging rights as their scores were dramatically better across the board. The trend does not follow a straight North-South progression, however, as San Diego came out on top of LA.

 Southern Discomfort

Four out of the six lowest-scoring cities hail from the south: Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, and Tampa.

People Power

Despite massive populations, both Chicagoland and the Big Apple received Top 5 marks.

Noteworthy Cities

Dashlane researchers were curious about what proximity to power players across industries and institutions might suggest about the security habits of residents. As such, the team examined 20 cities that are home to a variety of prominent companies and organizations:

  1. Fort Meade, MD
  2. Cupertino, CA
  3. Redwood City, CA
  4. Los Gatos, CA
  5. Sunnyvale, CA
  6. Menlo Park, CA
  7. San Jose, CA
  8. Mountain View, CA
  9. Omaha, NE
  10. Bentonville, AR
  11. Oak Brook, IL
  12. Arlington, VA
  13. Venice, CA
  14. Redmond, WA
  15. Scottsdale, AZ
  16. Langley, VA
  17. Deerfield, IL
  18. Irving, TX
  19. Round Rock, TX
  20. Armonk, NY

It may come as no surprise that many cities in the tech-savvy Silicon Valley, including Cupertino and Redwood City, claimed seven of the top spots. These cities clearly have stronger security habits than places were tech isn’t the dominant industry.

There is more of a spread with cities that are home to large government agencies. Fort Meade, MD, headquarters of the NSA, topped the list, while Arlington, VA was middle of the pack, and nearby Langley, VA scored in the bottom quarter.

Protect Yourself

Rankings aside, there are a few easy actions anyone can take that will drastically improve their own online security:

  • Generate passwords that exceed the minimum of 8 characters
  • Create passwords with a mix of case-sensitive letters, numbers, and special symbols
  • Use a unique password for every online account
  • Avoid using passwords that contain common words, phrases, slang, places, or names
  • Use a password manager to help generate, store, and manage your passwords

Methodology

Dashlane surveyed its anonymous data to produce the City Security Rankings (™). The study data was retrieved on February 28, 2018. The list of the 20 largest US metro areas is accurate as of March 7, 2018.

The final rankings were based on a composite score of each city’s average in five categories: average password strength, average number of passwords, number of passwords reused, distinct number of reused passwords, and average security index.

For more information on Dashlane’s Privacy Policy, please click here.