Dashlane Study: US Internet Users Drowning in Online Accounts – With Further Tidal Wave Approaching

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A new Dashlane study reveals that Americans are storing more information online than ever before with the number of new accounts created per user set to double in 5 years.

Dashlane Mailbox Security Infographic

Today’s average US web user has around 130 online accounts, and according to new research, this number is set to grow. Dashlane, the leading password manager and digital wallet, found that by 2020 the average internet user will have over 200 online accounts. Each new account brings yet another password for overwhelmed users to remember, thus threatening the overall security of their online identity.

Dashlane examined anonymous data from over 23,000 users of its online email-auditing tool, Dashlane Inbox Scan, to illustrate the challenge that such large numbers of accounts and passwords present to human memory. The research shows that we are now creating and storing more account information online than ever before. Just 5 years ago, the average US Inbox Scan user had just 57 accounts registered to one email address. That number has ballooned to 130 accounts – far higher than the 92 account average across the rest of the world.

The findings raise questions about the significant issues new accounts and forgotten passwords will cause in the future. As the number of accounts doubles every 5 years, ‘account overload’ becomes a genuine threat to personal security.

Memory overload and unsafe practices

The report highlights that internet users must take responsibility for managing the security of their accounts, rather than blindly relying on companies to do this for them. According to the data, when consumers forget passwords and request them by email - to reset or re-validate - over 10% of companies send them in plain text. This unsafe approach leaves a number of passwords simply sitting in inboxes, waiting to be uncovered by hackers. Dashlane’s research also revealed password re-use as another leading unsafe practice; noting that US web users repeated their favorite password on an average of 4 sites.

Compounding these risks is evidence that account management is a major issue for most Americans. The average US user has forgotten passwords to 48 distinct sites and accounts - each account potentially requiring multiple requests to reset login credentials. This not only adds up to hundreds of hours of wasted time but also creates hundreds of opportunities for US web users to fall victim to websites’ unsafe password emailing and resetting practices.

Guillaume Desnoës, Head of European Markets, states:

“With so many accounts to access on a daily basis, it’s common for users to adopt behaviors that may seem easier at the time, but simply compromise their online security and put their data at risk. Using the same password on multiple accounts is a risky business that will only get worse in the years to come, as this research shows.”

“Discarded accounts are a ticking time bomb. For every account that falls by the wayside and is forgotten, a door opens for hackers to slip in undetected and steal your private data. No one would leave their bank card or ID on the kitchen table before going away on holiday, yet we show much more carelessness when it comes to information we leave unprotected in the digital world. The Dashlane Inbox Scan tool offers a convenient way to quickly determine what sensitive information users have stored in their email accounts and assess how vulnerable they are to having their information stolen.”

About Dashlane

Dashlane makes identity and payments simple with its password manager and secure digital wallet app. Dashlane allows its users to securely manage passwords, credit cards, IDs, and other important information via advanced encryption and local storage. Dashlane has helped over 3 million users manage and secure their digital identity, and has enabled over $3.5 billion in e-commerce transactions. The app is available on PC, Mac, Android and iOS, and has won critical acclaim by top publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and USA Today. Dashlane is free to use on one device and Dashlane Premium costs $39.99/year to sync between an unlimited number of devices.

Dashlane was founded by Bernard Liautaud and co-founders Alexis Fogel, Guillaume Maron and Jean Guillou. The company has offices in New York City and Paris, and has received $30 million in funding from Rho Ventures, FirstMark Capital and Bessemer Venture Partners. Learn more at Dashlane.com.

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Ryan Merchant
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