Dashlane Study: ‘Digital Indifference’ and Carefree Approach to Passwords Risks Data Security in the Workplace

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Dashlane found that 42% of all workers say they could access a former employer’s systems through old, unchanged passwords.

Dashlane Password Sharing Infographic

Over 60% of people say they don’t know or their employer doesn’t have a password policy.

The security of businesses across the US is under threat from ‘Digital Indifference’, which affects a significant proportion of employees, a new report has revealed today. Dashlane’s ‘Digital Indifference in the Workplace’ uncovers a carefree approach to the internal management of company data through careless password practices. This attitude is particularly common amongst the influx of share-centric ‘millennials’ who are now in the workplace.

Dashlane’s analysis found that over 60% of employees aged 16-34-year-olds admitted to freely sharing passwords with colleagues, whereas only 54% of employees over 45 had ever done so. Furthermore, the methods of sharing are often insecure, with 1 in 3 employees aged 16-34 admitting they wrote passwords down on Post-it notes and on scraps of paper. Other common methods of sharing passwords were over email, text message and using unprotected shared spreadsheets.

Another key finding of the report was that 42%respondents said they could access accounts or services relating to a previous employer, potentially leaving firms vulnerable to social media hijacking or other unauthorized use of their systems. The fact that nearly 30% of workers said that their employer never changes passwords, or only does so when there is an issue goes some way to explaining this. This is compounded by the fact that over 60% of employees don’t know what their company’s password policy is, or even if it has one.

Being able to enforce simple password practices amongst employees should be a business’s first line of defense from external threats. However, it’s evident that many employees’ take a lackadaisical attitude towards sensitive and confidential information, leaving businesses open to easily-avoidable breaches and hack attacks.

Dashlane’s ‘Digital Indifference in the Workplace’ report spoke to 3,000 people in the UK, USA , and France to explore how people are using passwords in their workplace, what policies and practices are common, and how passwords impact our working lives. The results highlight the casual attitude to passwords from employees, especially amongst those aged 16-24, which threatens to drastically undermine the security of a business. It also found that poor password management is impacting workplace efficiency as employees fumble for log-ins and remain locked out of services.

The report reveals that:

  •     Young people are the most casual with their approach to password security, with 67% of 16-24-year-olds admitting to sharing a password with a colleague. This is often conducted in an unsafe way, such as using Post-It or unsecured spreadsheets.
  •     42% can access accounts or subscription-based services that belong to previous employers, putting firms at risk from unauthorized use of key services.
  •     Over 60% of people say they don’t know or their employer doesn’t have a password policy. Employees have little formal guidance from their employers or are ignorant of the rules that are in place, resulting in a situation where the path of least resistance becomes conventional practice
  •     41% said poor password management impacts their workplace efficiency in some way. Getting locked out of key services, asking for password reminder emails and searching around for the right code are all having a tangible impact on employee efficiency
  •     Password sharing is rife, with 53% of respondents admitting to doing this. And rather than using safe and secure techniques, employees are sharing passwords using Post-it notes and unsecured, shared spreadsheets

Dashlane helps hundreds of businesses securing their password management. Learn more by clicking here:


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Ryan Merchant
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