A shockingly high number of us are still reusing passwords — and lots are even writing them down

 A padlock resting on a keyboard.
A padlock resting on a keyboard.

Despite security experts constantly warning about the risks of reusing passwords, a shockingly high number of people still do just that - and to make matters worse, many are even writing them down on pieces of paper that can easily fall into the wrong hands.

A new report from password management firm Bitwarden surveying 2,400 individuals from the US, UK, Australia, France, Germany, and Japan, ahead of World Password Day (May 2), on their password practices found a quarter admitted to reusing passwords across 11-20+ accounts.

What’s more, a third (36%) put personal information in their passwords, information that can easily be obtained on social media (60%) and online forums (30%) (think birth dates, names of spouses, etc.). Also, 54% try to memorize all of their passwords, while a third (33%) write it down on a piece of paper they keep at home. Roughly half (48%) reuse passwords across workplace platforms or accounts “frequently, or rather frequently”.

2FA on the rise

Many (19%) have experienced data loss, or another security breach, as a consequence of their poor password hygiene, the report further uncovered.

A quarter (23%) confirmed having their passwords stolen, or otherwise compromised, in the past. At the same time, the majority is confident in their password practices. Almost two-thirds (60%) feel they would be able to identify a phishing attack, and 68% feel prepared to identify and mitigate AI-enhanced cyberattacks.

Passwords for private accounts fare no better, either, Bitwarden found.

The good news is that awareness about the importance of strong passwords is rising. Half (51%) of global respondents adopted a password manager at home, and are growing more security-conscious at work, as well. Another 45% said they now reuse passwords “less frequently”. Finally, 80% of global respondents now use more two-factor authentication (2FA) for personal accounts, and 66% use it for workplace accounts.

More from TechRadar Pro