Commentary

62% of Android Users, 63% iOS Use Same Password for Multiple Accounts

While the number of consumers using their phones to buy things continues to rise, the security of those transactions may be undermined by the behaviors of the individuals making them.

It turns out that mobile users are about 25% more likely than all consumers to use the same password to access more than one online account.

They also tend to use the same password for multiple accounts, with 62% of Android users and 63% of those with iOS phones using the same password for more than a single account.

This is based on a recent study by Javelin Strategy & Research for Nok Nok Labs, which comprised a survey of 6,000 U.S. adults based on census demographics.

Whether using Android or iOS devices, the majority of consumers keeps their operating systems up to date. This is likely due to constant notifications from Google or Apple that an update is ready to download and install.

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Consumers with Android or Apple phones have similar security habits, with a few exceptions.

For example, 42% of Android owners use antivirus software compared to 34% of iPhone owners. Here are the behaviors of Android owners:

  • 71% -- Update OS as soon as it is available
  • 49% -- Use a password
  • 42% -- Use antivirus software
  • 34% -- Save login info for apps
  • 33% -- Change password regularly
  • 17% -- Own a service that allows remote wiping of device
  • 14% -- Download apps from sites other than official app store
  • 14% -- Download apps that do not have many reviews
  • 11% -- Own a service that allows encryption of data on mobile device

A larger portion of iPhone owners use a password while changing passwords is about the same for both Apple and Android consumers. Here are the behaviors of iPhone owners:

  • 75% -- Update OS as soon as it is available
  • 58% -- Use a password
  • 36% -- Save login info for apps
  • 34% -- Use antivirus software
  • 34% -- Change password regularly
  • 20% -- Own a service that allows remote wiping of device
  • 18% -- Download apps that do not have many reviews
  • 12% -- Download apps from sites other than official app store
  • 11% -- Own a service that allows encryption of data on mobile device

Perhaps to the chagrin of many financial institutions and retailers, much of the mobile commerce security they desire rests in the palm of the individual.

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3 comments about "62% of Android Users, 63% iOS Use Same Password for Multiple Accounts ".
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  1. Paul Collins from DigitalFish Inc., December 24, 2014 at 1:27 p.m.

    Using the same password for multiple accounts does not necessarily undermine security. In fact, it's a useful practice to have one password for multiple minor accounts, such as commenting sites (hello). Of course, sharing your email or store password with other accounts would be bad, but the question apparently makes no distinction.

    The antivirus question is also a bit weak. On iOS, there is effectively no third-party antivirus software, because iOS prevents one app from looking at the data in another. You can't scan for viruses on the device. Apple provides security for the device, and that works fine. Is the question getting a yes answer if the device owner runs antivirus on their desktop or laptop computer? The 34% would be plausible in that case.
    Remote wiping is provided by iCloud, which is certainly more than 20%, and encryption is automatic with the iOS login password. So those numbers reveal that many users don't know what they've got. That's useful data!

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, December 24, 2014 at 2:12 p.m.

    Some good points there, Paul. The question about device related to mobile only, not desktop. Here's a link to the study where you can see more detail as well as the entire methodology.

  3. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, December 26, 2014 at 11:55 a.m.

    And here is the link Paul.

    http://media.scmagazine.com/documents/95/javelin_study_23679.pdf

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