Google Says 66% of Americans Still Do This 1 Thing That Puts Their Personal Information at a Huge Risk. Here’s How Google Wants to Help

By Jason Aten | Inc.

According to a Harris Poll study conducted in partnership with Google, the average American has 27 online accounts that require passwords. Ideally, you should use a different password for each account, but come on, you’re a human, not a robot, so that’s never going to happen. In fact, 66 percent of Americans (almost two-thirds surveyed!) say they reuse the same passwords for their online banking, email, and social media networks.

Sure, it makes sense to pick a password you can remember, and use it for everything since, well, again, you’re not a robot. But what happens to your personal information when someone figures out that password? Considering that one-third of Americans use their pet’s name as a password, it’s not exactly inconceivable someone might figure it out.

Or, worse, what happens when your information is included in a data breach–something not unheard of at this point? In fact, there’s a pretty good chance that at least some of your personal information has been included in at least one of the dozen or so major breaches in the past few years.

I’m a big advocate of taking responsibility for protecting your own personal information, which is why it’s good news that this morning, Google announced new tools to help you protect your passwords. Those tools include Google’s password manager, which is built into Chrome, as well as your Google Account sign-in.

That password manager will now also flag passwords that are reused, and even let you know if one of the passwords you use has been compromised in a data breach. According to Google, it has already uncovered four billion passwords that have been compromised online.

That study also showed that:

  • 43 percent of Americans have shared a password, including 23 percent who have given someone else their email password.
  • 22 percent use their own name as a password for at least one account.
  • 75 percent say they have trouble keeping track of all their passwords.
  • Less than half (45 percent) of Americans change their password, even after a data compromise or breach.

Read the full story at Inc.