Online Americans Fatigued by Password Overload Janrain Study Finds

National Survey Reveals 58 Percent of Adults Need to Remember Five or More Unique Online Passwords;
Many People Think Solving World Peace Might Be Easier  

Portland, OR – August 23, 2012 – According to the results of the 2012 Online Registration and Password study released today by Janrain and conducted online by Harris Interactive, 58 percent of online adults have five or more unique passwords associated with their online logins and 30 percent of people have more than 10 unique passwords they need to remember. 38 percent of people think it sounds more appealing to tackle household chores – from folding the laundry to scrubbing toilets – than to try and come up with another new user name or password. Janrain commissioned Harris Interactive to field the study, which was conducted online between July 20-24, 2012 among a nationwide cross section of 2,208 adults.

“With all of the different websites consumers login to on a regular basis – from email and social networks to online banking and ecommerce sites – it’s no wonder people are struggling to remember such a large number of passwords,” said Larry Drebes, CEO of Janrain. “What’s surprising is that consumers think cleaning their bathroom, or in the extreme cases trying to solve world peace, sounds preferable to adding yet another password to the list.”

Oh Man, I Have to Create Another One?

Most consumers know that it’s important to create a variety of strong, original passwords to protect their identity online. The problem however lies in trying to come up with different logins for a myriad of different sites…and actually remember them all.   

  • Nearly 3 in 5 (58%) of adults have 5 or more unique online passwords
    • 30% have 10 or more passwords
    • Almost one in 10 people (8%) has a whopping 21 or more individual passwords
  • Older people are likely to have more unique passwords than their younger counterparts; people age 55 or older on average have 8.2 passwords whereas millennials (18-34 year olds) only average 6.7
    • Adults age 35-44 average 8.7 unique passwords and those 45-54 have 8.4 on average
    • Men age 45-54 have the highest average number of unique passwords at 9.8
  • Three-quarters of people say they try to create the strongest passwords possible, using combinations of letters and numbers instead of obvious names or words, like the all too common “password”
    • Recalling their complicated passwords when needed is where people seem to run into trouble. Nearly 2 in 5 (37%) have to ask for assistance on their user name or password for at least one website per month

Open Sesame

Having to remember whether that secret combination of letters and numbers unlocks the online gate to a bank account or an Etsy account appears to be weighing heavily on many people; nearly four in 10 think taking on the problems of the world sounds more appealing.   

  • 38% of adults sometimes think it would be easier to solve world peace than attempt to remember all their passwords
    • Almost half (46%) of women age 55 or older agreed with this statement
    • Those age 55+ in general were more likely to agree than those in age 18-34 (42% vs 33%)
  • 38% would rather undertake household chores, like cleaning the toilet or doing the dishes, than have to create another username and password

Getting to Know You

Frustration with the registration process doesn’t end with the requirement to create a new username and password combination. The majority of adults prickle at the prospect of having to enter their personal information and register at another website. The problem may lie in the fact that most people are unclear as to how a site is using that information.   

  • 84% of people dislike being asked to register on a website. Of those respondents:
    • More than half (51%) dislike the prospect of remembering another user name or password
    • 44% find online registration forms to be too long
  • Almost two-thirds of adults (62%) would be willing to enter more personal information on a website, including their age, location or marital status, if they knew how the site or brand was planning to use the info

“While the findings clearly show consumer frustration at juggling so many online logins and passwords, people can make it easier on themselves,” continued Drebes. “By creating strong, secure passwords that are changed regularly for the identities they use the most, consumers can take their identity across the Web instead of registering or creating a new password at every site they visit via social login.”

For more information about Janrain, visit: http://www.janrain.com

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About Janrain

The Janrain User Management Platform (JUMP) helps organizations succeed on the social web by providing leading technology to leverage the popularity of social networks and identities for user acquisition, engagement, and enhanced customer intelligence. Our solutions, including social login, social sharing, social profile data collection and storage, access to the social graph, game mechanics, and digital strategy services, improve the effectiveness of online marketing initiatives for leading brands like Fox, Universal Music Group, Whole Foods, MTV, Purina, Avis and Dr Pepper. Founded in 2005, Janrain is based in Portland, Oregon. For more information, please call 1-888-563-3082 or visit www.janrain.com and follow @janrain.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Janrain from July 20-24, 2012 among 2,208 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Jenny Davis, jenny@dottedlinecomm.com or 925-935-2558.