Have you experienced anger and frustration while logging into an account online? Do you feel bombarded and overwhelmed by online security protocols and restrictions? Are you tired of managing passwords on multiple devices and accounts at home and at work?
If you’ve answered yes to any of questions, you may be experiencing symptoms of “password overload”. No, it’s not life-threatening, but it can put you at risk for serious side effects including password reuse, using weak passwords, or worse, a hacked account.
What is password overload?
Password overload is a reluctance or weariness of managing and remembering multiple, complex passwords on several accounts and devices. There are several leading causes of password overload, including but not limited to:
- Being required to remember several complex passwords for multiple online accounts.
- Frequent password changing policies enforced in the workplace.
- Websites with weak password requirements.
- Frequently forgetting and/or resetting passwords.
- Difficulties creating and memorizing passwords that satisfy strict password requirements.
A majority of Americans continue to suffer from password overload
In our latest Harris poll study, we found that a majority of Americans continue to suffer from password overload. For instance, most Americans admitted to needing help accessing online accounts or apps.
- 81 percent have asked for assistance to access any of their accounts or apps before, including using password hints, security questions, password resets, or another password recovery method.
- 62 percent needed a helping hand several times a year and nearly one in four people seek help at least once a month.
Moreover, contrary to popular belief, tech-savvy millennials are also having difficulty managing their passwords:
- 30 percent of Millennials indicate needing help on at least a monthly basis, more so than those 35-44 (24 percent), 45-54, (22 percent) and 55-64 (18 percent) and 65+ (15 percent).
Although this goes against the stereotype that older Americans struggle more with technology, this could be a result of millennials having more online accounts and apps, hence a larger digital footprint to keep track of.
Password overload is a pain point for online retailers
Although retailers are still improving ways to provide balance both strong password security and a seamless online shopping experience for customers, retailers are also feeling residual effects of consumers’ password overload:
- Over a third of Americans (36 percent) say they’ve abandoned an online transaction in the past when they couldn’t remember a password.
- This impact is stronger among women (40 percent) than men (32 percent).
The cure for password overload
If you think you’re experiencing any symptoms of password overload, there are several solutions you can take:
Use a password manager
Password managers like Dashlane are the most effective solution for combatting password overload. They help users store, manage, and protect their login credentials and other data. It’ll also generate strong passwords for new accounts, automatically log into websites and apps, and fill out website form fields and checkout pages with ease.
Write down a password hint and store it somewhere safe.
We never recommend writing down your passwords, but if you’re having difficulty remembering several complex passwords, write down a hint that only makes sense to you store that hint in a safe location, like your wallet of a safe deposit box.
Use one of these tricks to help you remember a password
You should always go the extra mile to create long, strong passwords for frequently-targeted accounts, like online banking accounts, social media profiles, medical and financial records, etc. If you want to create a strong, complex password you can remember, try this password mnemonic trick trusted by celebrities or this technique called Spaced Repetition developed by world renowned cognitive psychologists.