TORONTO, Dec. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Passwords and online security have become deeply embedded in all aspects of family life, according to new research from 1Password, the world's most-loved password manager. The Family Password Paradigm report draws on a survey of 2,001 U.S. adults to reveal the increasingly universal role of passwords as gateways to the myriad online applications that permeate every stage of our lives, from childhood video games and online learning to the workplace and estate planning. Moreover, the report explores the soaring importance of mastering online security principles and password security, tracking the increasing importance of digital defenses from as early as nursery school to the golden years.
"These findings prove that it's a password-driven world and we're along for the ride," said Jeff Shiner, chief executive officer, 1Password. "From children using their parents' devices to stream movies to boomers preparing living trusts, passwords are the key for anyone to access the digital revolution. Making it easy to manage safe and secure passwords across complicated family arrangements will only become more pivotal to unleash the power of apps while keeping families safe."
Raising digital natives
1Password's research showed that it's never too early for children to learn about online stranger danger, with an astonishing 40% of parents saying they are teaching children ages three to four about online security and using passwords.
- Access all areas: With young children accessing technology in all its forms, from phones and video game consoles to their favorite streaming shows and movies on Disney+ and Netflix, 13% of parents say their children were under 5 years old when they first helped them set up a password for an online account.
- Who's in charge here? Nearly half of parents let their children access devices with saved passwords on them, and 14% of parents admit their child has caused them trouble before by accessing an account on a device with saved passwords. One respondent reported "my child got into my bank accounts and wired money to a random account."
- The password security blanket: Whether it's convenience, nostalgia or just plain laziness, 26% of Americans are still using the first password they ever set up for an online account. A small number of Americans - 5% - say that after more than a decade they're still using a password their parents helped them set up.
All in the family
With households juggling numerous online accounts, 1Password's report found that 76% of families share passwords by using a password manager, writing them down or creating a spreadsheet. Who is taking responsibility for overseeing this? Interestingly, most people consider themselves to be their family's designated "head of IT," with 61% of parents reporting they are in charge of their household's passwords. Moreover, 67% of respondents reported that they're the best password practices in their family, while just 29% thought they were the worst.
Password-sharing habits also vary across gender and generation:
- Young adults haven't grown out of their parents' passwords: Forty-three percent of adults report they have passwords to at least one of their parents' accounts. Forty-six percent of Gen Z and 26% of Millennials have the password to their parents' TV/movie streaming service, while 24% of Gen Z and 17% of Millennials have the password to their parents' online shopping account.
- Dads are more lenient: Men are more likely than women to say their children have access to their gaming account (30% vs. 18%), music streaming account (21% vs. 17%), social media accounts (19% vs. 12%), and online shopping accounts (17% vs. 11%). Men (55%) are also more likely than women (40%) to allow their children to share their family's TV and movie streaming account information with friends.
Take your child to work [every] day
Remote work is now commonplace, with 42% of the U.S. labor force working from home full-time during COVID-19. While employees may have adapted well to remote work, the lines remain blurry between work and family life.
- Boss baby: Fourteen percent of parents say their children have access to their work devices -- and more than half (51%) of parents working from home admit their child has accessed their work accounts.
- Amateur hour: Many shared anecdotes of children upending their work product, including a six-year-old who "accidentally deleted my presentation" and a boy who "trashed a message I desperately needed."
With passwords prevalent across all aspects of life, online access is playing an increasingly important role in the golden years.
- No password left behind: According to the research, only 16% of Americans have included passwords in their wills or living trusts, However, signalling they are more digital-savvy, 42% of Generation X and 34% of Millennials include passwords in their wills.
- Missing passwords leads to missing payments: Poor password record-keeping could have implications for surviving family members - 25% of Americans say they have been locked out of a deceased loved one's accounts.
1Password conducted this research using an online survey prepared by Method Research and distributed by RepData among n=2,001 adults in the United States. The sample was balanced by census targets for age, gender and ethnicity to be nationally representative of the US population. Data was collected from November 13 to November 18, 2020.
1Password is the world's most-loved password manager. By combining industry-leading security and award-winning design, the company provides private, secure and user-friendly password management to businesses and consumers globally. 1Password's Enterprise Password Manager is trusted by more than 75,000 business customers, including IBM, Slack, PagerDuty, Dropbox, Gitlab and Roche. Learn more at 1Password.com.