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Security & privacy

People are getting fed up with passwords and security questions

Pretty much anything we do online now requires some sort of password, and as part of setting up those passwords we need to provide some security questions (and answers). It’s a part of life, really.

All of it is meant to protect us, ensuring we are the only ones who are able to access our accounts and data. Granted we are always hearing news of breaches that circumvent our passwords but still, without them it’s tough to imagine our information being safe.

However for all the good that passwords do, what’s required to set up and maintain them may have gotten a bit out of hand. At least, a study shows people feel that way.

People are sick and tired of them

In a study commissioned by the analytics software firm FICO, researchers found that of 2,000 U.S. adults, 81 percent didn’t see a need for what they considered to be unnecessary security procedures.

Also in the survey, 47 percent said they were sick of having to answer endless security questions they get whenever calling customer service departments, while 64 percent are upset over having to create elaborate, complicated passwords that feature a mix of numbers, symbols and capital letters.

Furthermore, 48 percent of those polled are over the use of two-step verification, while 71 percent are tired of captcha codes that tend to feature illegible words.

Having to create and remember passwords — especially the complicated ones — is tedious and stressful. According to the survey, having to even remember email addresses in order to recover passwords bothered 58 percent of respondents, while 65 percent were not fans of email systems logging them out randomly as a security measure.

A whopping 78 percent of people said they have a hard time keeping track of their passwords and in all, it was discovered that 71 percent simply believe there are too many security measures these days.

It’s a double-edged sword

In a perfect world we would not need passwords, but unfortunately that world doesn’t exist. Without passwords, our online information and dealings would be fair game for everyone, and that would undoubtedly lead to all sorts of problems.

The problem is people want to be secure, but at their convenience. And, for the most part, doing what it takes to secure sites and data requires some extra, sometimes annoying steps.

Not surprisingly, the angst over them carries over into other areas, too. Forty-six percent of those surveyed find airport security to be an inconvenience, and even 38 percent believe mobile phone PINs are excessive.

So it looks like people want security but are not fans of what it takes to have it. There is certainly a disconnect between a desire for enhanced protection and easier processes, which is something businesses will have to balance as they move forward.

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