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Americans are careless with their passwords

HSB survey shows passcodes kept on sticky notes, recipe cards

How many different passwords do you have for your smartphone, tablet or computer? Where do you keep the passcodes that you can't remember?

Don't reuse your passwords

HSB's latest cyber survey shows almost half of consumers (44 percent) use one to five passwords to access all of their online applications and two-thirds use 10 passwords or less. That indicates they probably reuse the same password on multiple accounts, a threat to security.

One-third of consumers are hacked

“The survey also shows about a third of consumers were hacked in the past year,” said Timothy Zeilman, vice president for HSB. “That rate should be falling faster and part of the problem is carelessness with passwords and personal security.”

Some people make it easy

As for how Americans store the passcodes they need to access a growing number of banking, retail and social media applications, it's much more likely they will use a sticky note than a protected location. Only 16 percent said the used a password organizer app.

Personal are passwords exposed

Many people stored their passwords as easily accessed notes on their smartphones and computers, in notebooks and planners, or saved them in emails they send to themselves. One respondent said she kept her passwords on recipe cards.

Bad habits also threaten businesses

People are also careless about passwords and data security at work. One business owner who responded to the survey said, “The ‘universal' passwords used by everyone in my company are written down” for anyone to view.

Passwords should be strong and secure

Passwords should be strong and stored in a secure or encrypted location. Better yet, use passphrases, choosing random common words that don't occur together in everyday speech, Zeilman said.

HSB offers cyber insurance protection

HSB offers a suite of cyber insurance coverages for consumers and businesses. Visit our website to learn more about our cyber insurance coverage and services, or contact your HSB representative.

Americans are careless with their passwords