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Keep updating the data

Cybersecurity experts generally recommend a number of steps for users to take in order to reduce their exposure to data theft, such as using a different, complex password for each account; not sharing passwords with others; using some sort of security feature on their smartphones; and always updating their smartphones’ apps and operating system to ensure that they have the latest security updates.

Within every major demographic group, a majority says that memorization is the password management technique they rely on the most – and the differences that do exist on this subject tend to be relatively modest.Those under the age of 50 are especially likely to indicate that their online passwords are very similar to one another: 45% of internet users ages 18 to 49 say this, compared with 32% of those ages 50 and older.And younger adults are especially likely to share their passwords with others: 56% of 18- to 29-year-old internet users have done so.Around half of online adults (49%) say they keep the passwords to at least some of their online accounts written down on a piece of paper – with 18% saying that this is the method they rely on most heavily.In total, just over eight-in-ten online adults (84%) say that they primarily keep track of their passwords by either memorizing them or writing them down.These include not using the same passwords across multiple accounts, as well as refraining from sharing passwords with others.

When asked about their own behaviors in this regard, a majority of online adults (57%) report that they vary their passwords across their online accounts.

Many sites rely on individuals to choose strong passwords as the first line of defense for their online accounts, but there are other technologies that aim to improve – or in some cases replace –the password itself.

The first of these techniques is known as “multifactor” or “two-factor” authentication.

Most experts agree that saving passwords in browsers is OK if the passwords are unique to each site, however they also agree that password management software outside the browser is preferable.

Meanwhile, just 12% of online adults say that they ever use password management software to keep track of their passwords – and only 3% rely on this technique as their primary method for storing passwords.

Other approaches to password management are far less common.