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New Study Shows Consumers Desire a World Beyond Passwords and Biometrics

With the current password-based user authentication paradigm so loathed and cumbersome, a new study surveyed 1,000 consumers in the United States to better understand their perceptions of convenience, security and privacy around authentication.

Of those surveyed, nearly three-quarters of respondents said it was “difficult” to keep track of their passwords and 82 percent never again wanted to use passwords.

Other security solutions, such as facial identification, also have challenges, according to the survey. For instance, half of Millennials and over two-thirds of both Gen X and Baby Boomers are reluctant to use facial scans due to concerns about privacy. However, over 60 percent of those surveyed would use implicit authentication for personal identification given its perceived convenience. Biometric authentication, such as facial scanning or fingerprints, is also easy to copy and is extremely hard to change once compromised.

Users of iPhones are much more inclined to use biometrics, with 74 percent of those respondents using biometrics to unlock their smartphones. On the other hand, only 55 percent of Android users surveyed use biometrics to unlock their smartphones.

Surprisingly, almost half of all respondents use a handwritten piece of paper to keep track of all their passwords, with one-third of all respondents never changing their passwords unless prompted to.

Other interesting facts include:

  • Nearly half (46 percent) of all respondents use the same password for all of their logins
  • 60 percent of all respondents believe it is the app maker’s responsibility to keep their information safe on their smartphone
  • Just over one-third (34 percent) of all respondents’ accounts had, in the past, been hacked or had their passwords stolen
  • Almost 83 percent of Generation Z use biometric authentication to unlock their smartphone, whereas only 53 percent of Baby Boomers use biometrics
  • Over 91 percent of Generation Z stay logged into their social media accounts, citing convenience as the reason

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