America’s password security knowledge has nothing on Kanye West. Or Justin Timberlake. Or even Tom Brady—the aging but still supremely effective, if widely loathed, quarterback for the New England Patriots.
Those are among the entertaining though alarming findings of a survey conducted to mark World Password Day 2018, which took place in early May.
80% of survey respondents knew about Kanye’s love life while only 15 percent knew that length makes a password stronger
HighSpeedInternet.com decided that its contribution to the effort would be to demonstrae how bad America’s password security knowledge still is by comparing it the general knowledge of what amounts to pop culture trivia.
A basic rule of current pop culture is never bet against the attention-grabbing talents of Kanye West, the critically acclaimed hip-hop artist and music producer who is also married to a Kardashian, one of the royal families of reality TV. That rule holds true even in the world of digital ID and password security.
In fact, 80 percent of the consumers polled could identify West as “Kim Kardashian’s” husband— “perhaps the most surprising part was that male respondents actually got this question right 14 percent more than women,” the report noted. No matter the gender divide, only 15 percent of survey respondents knew that “length makes a password stronger.”
America’s password security knowledge vs. football and Star Wars
Justin Timberland also carries more currency than does password security, the survey report suggests. That’s because 75 percent of respondents successfully identified him as the main performer at the 2018 Super Bowl halftime show, while just 22 percent could “correctly identify the strongest password from two options,” the report said.
To the delight of many football fans, Brady and his Patriots lost the 2018 Super Bowl to the Philadelphia Eagles. But Brady, it seems, is still more popular than password security. More than half of respondents—53 percent—know that Brady was involved in the football-inflation controversy known at “Deflatgate.” But only 14 percent of respondents know that “monthly password changes don’t improve password security,” according to the report.
“As part of the investigation, league officials requested access to Brady’s cellphone records,” the report said, striking a humorous note. “Brady refused to provide those records, showing that even Super Bowl MVPs have personal data on their devices they’d like to keep private.”
But there is hope for password security in this battle against pop culture. Jar Jar Binks is the much maligned character from the prequel “Star Wars” movies, and perhaps one of the few towering figures from pop culture who can attract more disdain than Tom Brady or Kanye West. More people knew how to tell if their identity had been stolen then knew which movie debuted the character of Jar Jar.
“The collective and determined effort by ‘Star Wars’ fans to forget about the debacle of putting Jar Jar Binks in the first prequel seems to be paying off,” the report said. “This was the one section where people knew more about identity theft than pop culture.”