Many Americans would rather clean toilets than try to come up with a new username or password for sites requiring online logins, a new study shows. It's no wonder that people are beginning to reel from password overload — nearly a third (30 percent) of us have more than 10 unique passwords we need to remember.
Most consumers recognize the importance of creating a variety of strong passwords to protect their identity online. The problem for most people is coming up with unique passwords for multiple sites and then trying to remember them. That's no small task, according to a survey of more than 2,000 adults sponsored by Janrain, a social login service provider.
Thirty-eight percent of adults have five or more unique online passwords, the survey found. Thirty percent have 10 or more passwords and 8 percent have a mind-numbing 21 or more individual passwords.
And the older we get, the more passwords we acquire, the study found. People age 55 or older have, on average, 8.2 passwords while the 18- to 34-year-old millennials only average 6.7.
Recalling their complicated passwords when needed is where people seem to run into trouble. Nearly two in five (37 percent) people said they have to ask for assistance regarding their username or password for at least one website per month, the survey found.
Having to remember which secret combination of letters and numbers will unlock the online gate to a bank account or an Etsy account appears to be weighing heavily on many people; nearly four in 10 think taking on the problems of the world sounds more appealing. And the same number (38 percent) would rather undertake household chores, like cleaning the toilet or doing the dishes, than have to create another username and password.
"With all of the different websites consumers log in to on a regular basis — from email and social networks to online banking and e-commerce sites — it's no wonder people are struggling to remember such a large number of passwords," said Larry Drebes, CEO of Janrain. "What’s surprising is that consumers think cleaning their bathroom, or in the extreme cases trying to solve world peace, sounds preferable to adding yet another password to the list."