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Iowans have room to grow in safeguarding passwords, Google survey says

Google released its survey to coincide with Cybersecurity Awareness Month (Reuters)
Google released its survey to coincide with Cybersecurity Awareness Month (Reuters)

Some Iowans believe they could benefit from rethinking their approach to online password habits and security, a new survey found.

Only half of the state’s residents gave themselves an A or B grade on personal password strength, compared to 66 percent nationwide, according to a recent survey Google and Harris Poll conducted of 3,000 adults and published Wednesday.

Iowans also fell behind the U.S. average in terms of taking extra security precautions, with 58 percent of state residents opting for two-factor authentication or changing their passwords regularly, compared to 70 percent nationwide.

The survey did, however, find that Iowans were slightly more likely than the average American to avoid the most common password variations, with only 16 percent of state residents using options such as “abc123,” “Password” or “123456,” contrasted with the 24 percent U.S. average.

Google released its survey to coincide with Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which started Tuesday, and its announcement of Password Checkup, a feature built into the company’s password manager that evaluates the strength and security of users’ saved passwords and advises them if they’re found to have been compromised in a third-party breach.

Comments: (319) 398-8366; thomas.friestad@thegazette.com

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