Canadians and Passwords: An Active Point of Bad Practice?


A a new study is planned to assess the security of Canadians’ password practices as well as its comfort levels with different user identification technologies, has published its results. The survey was conducted by the company GetApp.

According to the responses, drawn from more than 1,000 participants, 55% of Canadians reuse passwords on multiple accounts. Even when software causes passwords to be changed in order to update the security of a particular account, 37% of respondents said they only changed a few characters. This practice generally goes against the good practice to use unique passwords for each account.

When people are not asked to periodically update their password, less than a third (31%) of users change their passwords periodically.

Password reuse leaves people vulnerable to cyberattacks. As for counter actions, new user authentication technologies, such as facial recognition and two-factor authentication is slowly being paved how to use the web more securely (an electronic authentication method that grants the user access to a website or application only after successfully submitting two or more pieces with multifactor authentication ).

This progression to newer technologies will be a challenge, however, as the same survey makes many Canadians say they prefer to use old-fashioned password protection methods. In addition, by adopting biometrics, about half of respondents do not feel comfortable using facial recognition for retail transactions.

What’s basic about this is the combination of the convenience of reusing a password along with a deep distrust of new technologies. Distrust extends to concerns related to identity theft and privacy.

There is greater acceptance of two-factor authentication, which is used or accepted by more than 80% of respondents.

Although authentication is high, there are still very few Canadians who use secure technologies, such as mobile authentication applications or biometric authentication. These usage rates stood at 36 and 13 percent respectively.

As a general rule, Canadians appear to be more comfortable with facial recognition technology when deployed in official settings and designed to protect public safety. Examples are when national borders are crossed or when law enforcement uses this technology to investigate crimes.

However, it was found that respondents were much less comfortable using facial recognition in personal interactions, such as retail. This refers to fears that personal data will be misused by private companies.

The results of the survey indicate that there is a way forward in relation to the adoption of newer technologies to reduce the incidence of data breaches or cybercrime. Dealing with public distrust is the biggest barrier to overcome.

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