Do Men and Women Have Different Password Management Habits?
There is no point in fueling the battle of the sexes. We live in the 21st century, and, hopefully, we are all aware that both men and women are equals and deserve the same respect. That being said, it is scientifically proven that the brains of men and women function differently. A study analyzed in the Stanford Medicine Magazine suggested that both men and women excelled in different ways. For example, women were found to have better verbal abilities, they were better writers and readers, and they had better fine-motor coordination. Men, on the other hand, were better at juggling items in the working memory, and they had superior visuospatial skills. There are many other studies and many other examples of how men and women are different, and so it is not surprising that they approach password management differently too.
More men than women succumb to cybercrime, a new study finds
A study aimed to understand password management habits in the United States and the United Kingdom was conducted, and many of the findings did not surprise cybersecurity experts. According to the data, more than 30% of people find resetting passwords stressful. 80% of people think that password management is difficult. And only 20% admit to using unique passwords on certain apps. Ultimately, people are well aware of the security implications they could face if they continued with poor password management habits, but many of them do not know how to act. The most surprising data to come from the study is that while in the UK both men and women fall victim to cybercrime at an equal rate, in the United States, 54% of male respondents were victims of cybercrime versus 46% of female respondents. This might be explained by an older study, conducted in 2017.
According to the data uncovered in this study, Americans have pretty much terrible password management habits. For one, 11% of respondents admit to using the same password for more than 7 years. To add insult to the injury, only 37.5% change their passwords when they are required to do that. Most shockingly, it was found that men are almost 3 times more likely to use password as their password, and we all know that this is the worst password in existence. Login credentials can be stolen during data breaches and extracted from users themselves using various forms of phishing scams. However, hackers often rely on brute-force attacks as well, and during them, they are able to guess the weakest passwords. The first ones they are likely to try include admin, 12345, default, root, and of course, password. That might be the reason why more men in the United States become victims of cybercrime.
This is not a new trend, and a study dating back to 2009 showed that 47% of men compared to 26% of women used the same passwords for multiple accounts. It is a known fact that men are more likely to take risks, but password management is not the place to do it. Regardless of which gender you identify by – and please excuse the traditional gender construct when it comes to statistical data – you need to be careful about what kinds of password you set up and how you manage them.
Password management rule #1: do NOT reuse passwords
At this point, we keep saying do not reuse passwords almost like a chant. Unfortunately, as statistics show, people often break this rule even when they understand that that is dangerous. The biggest issue with password recycling is that if one account becomes vulnerable, all others fall like dominoes. Even if the password you keep reusing appears to be strong and complex (i.e., it is long, has a random combination of letters, numbers, and symbols, and does not contain personal data, like important dates or names), it cannot be recycled.
Many people believe that they are left to their own devices when it comes to passwords, but there are plenty of tools to choose from these days. We recommend the Cyclonis Password Manager because it offers multiple features. It can help generate passwords. It can encrypt and store them for easy access. The Cyclonis Password Manager extension – which is compatible with Chrome, Firefox, and Edge browsers – can help import all existing passwords easily. The program also makes it possible to store other data, such as payment card details or the numbers of ID documents. It can be synced across multiple devices to ensure that password management is never an issue. To ensure complete security, the tool uses end-to-end encryption, and users can add two-factor authentication for added protection.
Bridging the gap
Password security is not a men or women issue. It is a human issue. Passwords are like locks to the doors that lead to our homes. If the lock is rusty and falling apart, it will not be able to keep out the intruders. However, if the lock is strong, and if it is supported, it should hold against all uninvited guests. If you do not reuse passwords, if you make sure that they are unique and strong in every case, and if you add the support of two-factor authentication, your chances of falling victim to cybercrime become smaller automatically, and we are sure that every person understands the benefit of that.
When it comes down to password management, education is the most important thing in ensuring that everyone uses the strongest passwords imaginable. Therefore, when one learns something new about the best password practices, that information should be shared, and both men and women have the responsibility to share it with those around them. People continue to dream about a password-less world, and while more and more options become available, for now, passwords are reigning, and so we have to make sure that we take all measures to ensure that our passwords protect us and our accounts appropriately. So, do you have any weak passwords? If you do, this is the perfect time to change that.