Would You Sacrifice Sex for Online Security?


To what lengths would you go to ensure online privacy?

According to a new survey, about 40 percent of Americans would refrain from sex and give up their favorite food to avoid cybersecurity headaches.

Password management firm Dashlane last week reported that nearly four in 10 people would sacrifice lovemaking for a year if in return they could stop worrying about being hacked, identity theft, or losing access to one or more of their online accounts.

Such drastic measures, however, are not necessary if simple password rules are followed—which, based on a continued stream of successful attacks, we clearly aren't all doing.

"The nature of online security has changed dramatically," Dashlane CEO Emmanuel Schalit said in a statement. "Five to 10 years ago, cybersecurity was about protecting devices with anti-virus software. Today, data isn't on our devices, but in the cloud—and the best line of defense we have to protect this data are passwords."

"This survey data continues to highlight an unfortunate trend—even with breaches happening to everyone from companies and celebrities to consumers, people are continuing to engage in risky password behavior," Schalit said.

Folks continue to hand out passwords like Halloween candy: Dashlane's study suggests 45 percent of Americans have trusted someone, or been entrusted, with a password for email (23 percent) and streaming services (21 percent).

Netflix passwords, for example, are shared among family and friends; the company even acknowledges it happens. But if any part of that password aligns with another an individual relies on to keep them safe elsewhere, distribution is a white flag of surrender to hackers looking to access personal information.

People are understandably more protective of passcodes linked to money. Passwords for online stores were shared much less often (14 percent), as is the case for banking logins including investment accounts and student loans (9 percent). Insurance providers are the least shared (6 percent), which makes sense, because who wants to talk about insurance?

Based on responses from more than 2,000 US adults, the study also concluded that younger Americans (millennials aged 18 to 34 who grew up using the Internet) are more trusting and trusted than older generations (64 percent vs. 37 percent), and that married people are less likely to part with passwords (41 percent vs. 49 percent).

A quarter of those surveyed believe that sharing a social media password is more intimate than sex. But copulation isn't the only forfeiture folks are willing to make: Four in 10 people would rather pass up their favorite food for a month than go through a password reset process.

For more, see PCMag's review of the Dashlane 4 password manager and the slideshow above.

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