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Study: password management is as stressful as the COVID-19 crisis

Research has found that password management remains stressful for many people. According to a new survey, nearly half of the respondents think that the stress level of having to remember a lot of passwords is similar to thinking about getting infected with coronavirus or facing the current economic crisis.

Here are the main stressful situations and the percentage of respondents who think they are stressful.

Situation How many people perceive it as stressful
Remembering which password is for which account 37%
Remembering a lot of passwords 42%
Thinking that your passwords may be lost 37%
Thinking that passwords may be hacked 42%
Thinking about getting infected with COVID-19 44%
Facing the current economic crisis in the US 45%

Similarly, 35% of respondents feel that recovering an account because of a forgotten username or password is very stressful too.

31% of respondents also think that accessing passwords after changing your device is a very stressful experience.

Technology and stress

Overall, stress is becoming a bigger issue in people’s lives. For example, a study by Deloitte reveals that 48% of Gen Zs and 44% of millennials feel anxious or stressed all or most of the time.

Similar studies have shown that technology and issues related to it are some of the rising factors contributing to stress. According to the study by Wunderman Thompson, data security is a top concern. As many as 58% of Americans are worried about the security of their personal information, compared to 52% of those concerned about the current national political leadership, 51% about gun violence, 47% about current cost of living, and 45% about the quality of education.

“Sadly, according to our research, password management is adding to the stress caused by technology. Forgetting and trying to remember a password is a feeling familiar to many. It is mostly associated with anxiety, urgency, and even desperation,” says Chad Hammond, security expert at NordPass.

Password stress leads to poor password management

Password stress also contributes to poor account management. The same survey by NordPass reveals that a whopping 63% of respondents admitted to reusing passwords across multiple accounts.

Forgotten accounts was another big issue highlighted by the survey.  Due to a large number of accounts, people tend to forget the accounts they have created. As many as 69% of respondents stated that they don’t really remember all the accounts they’ve created, and 55% have accounts they cannot access because they’ve lost or forgotten the passwords.

Make it less stressful — how?

Security experts have a few tips to make it less stressful. “Some people manage to come up with a system that helps them remember their passwords. For example, they put them in a rhyme or use them to make up a story. However, the most convenient and secure way is to simply use a password manager,” says Chad Hammond.