Online security has been one of the hottest topics on the planet for the past several years. Between Edward Snowden, the Sony hack, the Target hack and Hillary Clinton’s private email server, you would think that Americans would be on top of their own personal security when it comes to online accounts that contain sensitive information.
Unfortunately, you’d be mistaken.
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According to the results a recent survey from the developers behind password management app LastPass, 95% of Americans share between one and six passwords with friends or family members. This is in spite of the fact that 73% of them admit that they are taking a risk by doing so.
You might think that you’re not one of the millions sharing passwords, but if you’ve ever given anyone your Wi-Fi password or allowed someone to log in to your Netflix or HBO account, you’re a member of this massive group.
“Nearly all aspects of our lives have some online component and when you bring password sharing into the mix, all of that sensitive information is instantly compromised,” said LastPass Vice President Joe Siegrist.
Although letting a trusted friend jump on your Wi-Fi network might not be all that risky, another statistic from the survey is far more worrisome. Security experts will tell you that repeating passwords is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, but 59% of the 1,053 people surveyed said they reuse passwords on multiple sites.
If your Netflix password happens to be the same as your bank account password, an innocuous decision to share with a careless friend could suddenly leave you thousands of dollars in the hole.
So, for the last time: use a password manager.