35 percent of people never change their passwords

File photo.

(REUTERS/Kacper Pempel )

How often you change your passwords? For many people, the answer is “never.”

A new PCMag survey of 2500 U.S. consumers, conducted between 30 June and 2 July, shows that 35 percent of people never change their passwords; they only do as they are asked. Twenty-seven percent said that they several times per year, 12 percent of them once a month and 8 per cent change them a few times per month. Meanwhile, 4 percent of to change their passwords once a week, still 4 percent several times per week. A surprising 11 percent they change every day.

It might seem counter-intuitive, but those who only change their passwords when prompted to do so, you may have the right idea. The National Institute of Standards and Technology last year, stopped advising users to change their passwords every 90 days, and now recommends only refreshing if they have been violated.

Meanwhile, most users we surveyed are confident about their ability in the fight against cyber attacks. Fifty-two percent said that they believe that they know how to effectively prevent and combat attacks, such as malware, credit card fraud, and ransomware, and 69 percent themselves at least a little bit of knowledge about these risks. At the same time, however, 36 percent said they have never had a good cybersecurity training and 51 percent do not spend money on cybersecurity protection.

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A quarter of the respondents said that they experienced a cybersecurity attack in the past, while three quarters do not.

For what users do to stay safe online, the most common measures are: the use of anti-virus software (53 percent), taking advantage of the privacy and the security of social media (37 percent), and the use of two-factor authentication (31 percent). Meanwhile, only 29 percent said that they regularly install updates, while only 24 percent use a password manager, and only 18 percent using a VPN.

PCMag’s research also shows that many users are slacking when it comes to back-up their data. Twenty-six percent of the respondents said that they do not regularly back up their files and another 20 percent only do so a few times a year. Another 54 percent back up their data at least once per month or more.

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