According to a survey by The Harris Poll, one in 10 Americans would prolong a relationship with a friend or partner to maintain access to their streaming account. Moreover, 68% of Americans admitted to using the same password on multiple accounts and 64% only change their passwords if they have to, leaving them vulnerable to cybercrime.
“It’s no secret that password-sharing is a way for consumers to get around the cost of paying for multiple services,” said Hari Ravichandran, CEO of Aura. “What consumers aren’t considering is that these behaviors make them vulnerable to digital crime when people outside your household – even ones you trust – have your passwords on their devices.”
Americans maintaining access to a streaming account – even after a relationship ends
Sharing passwords to any online account can put you at risk for digital crime. Even so, 53% of Americans who have streaming services admit they share login information with people outside of their immediate household spreading, on average, to 3.5 other people. But, what happens when a relationship goes south?
32% of adults say access to streaming services occasionally persists, even after a friendship or relationship is over. 11% have let a former partner or friend use their streaming service and 12% have had to explicitly ask a former partner or friend to stop using their streaming account after the relationship ended.
Americans are engaging in risky password behavior
There are a good number of risky behaviors Americans engage in when it comes to their passwords — 64% of U.S. adults admit they only change their passwords if they have to. In addition, Americans admitted they:
- Don’t use a password manager app or service (64%)
- Use the same password for all or most of their online accounts (38%)
- Use the same password across personal and work accounts (41%)
- Share their frequently used passwords with someone outside their household (19%)
- Don’t understand what it would mean if their data were leaked as part of a breach (38%)
How to keep yourself – and your passwords – safe online
There are multiple ways to prevent fraud, identity theft and cybercrime. Unfortunately, sharing your password with anyone outside your household puts you at risk of all three. Key ways to protect yourself include:
- Use a password manager to ensure you can remember and safely store your login information
- Don’t overshare on social media as it could give bad actors the ability to crack your passwords or answer security questions on your behalf
- Use two-factor authentication whenever possible
- Be smart about your passwords and make sure they’re as complex as possible
- If you suspect you’ve been breached or your passwords were leaked, change them immediately