Ahead of Safe Internet Day today, Google conducted a survey with 3,000 respondents to gauge beliefs and behaviors regarding online security. According to recent Harris Poll data, two-thirds of individuals admit to reusing the same password across various accounts.
Among participants aged 16 and above, 51% acknowledged using a single "favorite" password for most of their accounts. Additionally, 31% indicated uncertainty about or a deliberate choice not to use two-factor authentication (2FA).
Despite this, a substantial 69% of respondents gave themselves high grades (A or B) for their online account protection skills. Furthermore, 59% believed they outperformed the average person in safeguarding their accounts from cyber threats.
Although 79% recognized the importance of updating security software for online safety, only 67% claimed to regularly update their applications or were unsure if they did.
Regarding understanding key terms like phishing, password manager, and two-step verification, only 32% accurately defined all three.
Merely 24% of survey participants reported using a password manager. Individuals over 50 were less likely to use such a tool but more inclined to have unique passwords for each account. On the other hand, respondents aged 16-24 were more likely to use 2FA but less likely to have changed their passwords in the past year.
In a blog post offering advice on enhancing online safety, Google recommended creating unique passwords for each account and ensuring they are challenging to guess and at least eight characters long. Google also urged the setup of 2FA, which involves an additional step beyond username and password, such as an SMS text message, a six-digit code from an app, a prompt on a trusted device, or the use of a physical security key.
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