Most consumers admit to sharing passwords with someone outside their home

Although Americans worry about their devices being hacked, most are happy to share their passwords.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

As streaming services such as Netflix and delivery services such as Uber Eats are seeing a surge in usage during social distancing, it is becoming more important than ever to protect our online privacy. But online users in the US do not seem to be too worried.

Texas-based Insurance company Zebra Insurance services polled over 1,500 Americans about sharing passwords in February 2020 using Google consumer surveys. It wanted to understand their biggest home security fears and discover their password sharing habits.

It discovered that almost four in five (79%) of consumers admitted to sharing passwords with someone outside their home. Video streaming services passwords are the most likely to be shared with 35% of others.

Three in 10 (29%) share their passwords with delivery services and one in 10 (9%) share their music streaming passwords.

Four from five consumers admit sharing passwords with someone outside their home zdnet
(Image: TheZebra)

As 39% of people use the same password for every service, hacking is a real threat to personal data. Yet only one in five (20%) of Americans are worried about identity theft or hacking.

Americans are much more concerned about their homes getting broken into (33%) or a house fire (28%) than any online threat. Only 13% of Americans said that identity theft is their biggest home security fear.

Identity theft is a massive inconvenience as you struggle to regain access to your online accounts and prove that you are who you say you are.

To minimize your risk of getting hacked, Zebra recommends limiting the number of people who know your password and make sure you have a variety of diverse, complex passwords for all your accounts.

Although password sharing seems to be common in families' friend groups  -- especially with streaming services -- identity theft is not top of mind for many.

Online hackers can access almost any device, find passwords, and learn other personally identifying information about you that they can use to steal your identity. The more your account is used, the more at risk you are.

Sharing your passwords with people who are not as savvy as you can massively increase that risk.

It really is not worth the potential hassle.

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