Security Technology

Employees Spend 30% Of Their Time Resetting Passwords – What’s The Solution?

Once you wake up, you turn on your laptop, hoping to kickstart your day by checking your work emails. Your calendar for the day is filled with back-to-back presentations. Hence, it is okay to tick out a few tasks from your to-do list before the conference calls start coming in.

You pour a hot cup of your favorite beverage, and sit on your work desk, ready to go through the pending emails. But whoop! You cannot do so! Why? Because you forgot your password and locked out of your laptop! This happens more often than not with productivity being impacted by this simple security reset.

ExpressVPN reveals that 30% of a company’s time is wasted waiting for a reset password ticket that must be resolved. Dwelling in a time of ultra-competitive markets where time is equivalent to money, is it worth spending so much time resetting passwords?

Reset or change your password

Password lockouts cost you money and time

According to the latest reports from the Gartner Group, between 20-50% of all customer care calls are for resetting passwords that are forgotten. It has been found out that it takes around 20 minutes to 1.5 hours to reset a forgotten password and log into a locked-out computer.

This clearly implies that companies can lose several hundred hours in productivity every quarter if the proper processes are not put in place for employees to contact IT and give an accurate assessment of the issue. The hundreds of hours wasted could easily be dedicated towards high-worth revenue-driven projects.

Potential reasons behind forgetting passwords

We already see that forgetting passwords and resetting them wastes a lot of time. Does this keep you wondering why do we forget passwords? Well, there are a few reasons that increase the likelihood of forgetting passwords, but they aren’t all bad:

  • We often set tough and complicated passwords to boost the security of our accounts. In this process, we might forget them.
  • We rely too much on biometric logins to access our digital accounts. This makes us forget the actual details of manual login.
  • We need to remember too many unique passwords across various platforms.

It is not that we are new to resetting passwords, as this is a task that we’ve been doing for decades now. Allowing us to reset passwords is an easy and safe method of giving us access to our account even when we have forgotten our password.

11 hours are spent every year resetting passwords

According to a recent report, approximately 11 hours are lost in resetting passwords every year. It has been researched that individuals spend a little more than 12 minutes every week resetting and entering new passwords. This leads to a huge cost for an average-sized company.

The predicted productivity cost per company averages $5.5 million in a year. 65% of respondents reported that they are more concerned about the security and privacy of their personal data now than they were two years back. Government snooping was the ultimate reason cited by this survey.

More than half of the people who were polled in this survey had experienced phishing attacks, while 54% experienced phishing attacks while at work. Nevertheless, 59% of the people who had already been a victim of phishing attacks didn’t change their password details.

For several decades now, passwords have been the key to the authentication of protected accounts and data from illegal and unauthorized login. With every new password breach that is being seen, it is gradually becoming clear that there is a dire need for new security approaches to help people manage and protect both their professional and personal accounts.

A country-wise comparison of the hours wasted in resetting passwords

While the average time spent changing a password in four countries was 3 minutes and 46 seconds, Americans are found to take the longest time, where 39% say that it takes more than 4 minutes to change their passwords, and 8% take more than 10 minutes!

When questioned about the frequency of changing passwords, it was found that 55% of the American respondents reset their passwords at least once a month. The findings are similar in the UK (52%) and France (53%). However, Germans are seen to forget their passwords less often, as 34% need to reset them once a month.

Resetting password and its frequency

Of the American respondents, 24% say they require resetting their passwords more than once a week, and a crazy number of 15% people admit they need to change their passwords once a day. This figure implies a staggering 28 hours spent every year for an individual.

Even worse, 5% of Americans accept their need to reset their passwords more than 5 times a day, which translates to 103 hours per year.

Which passwords are forgotten the most?

Did you ever face a situation when you had to make an immediate online money transfer and forgot your banking app password? All of us have access to online banking, and have gone through this at least once.

This situation is common for a large part of the four countries surveyed. Nearly 30% reported online banking as the most forgotten password, much more than online shopping (16%), social media (25%), and online gaming accounts (8%).

It is highly frustrating to reset passwords

Is there anything more frustrating than constantly having to reset a password? Probably not! At least the French, British, and American participants think so.

Among the people surveyed, 40% think a slow internet connection to be the most annoying thing than forgetting a password. This frustration is followed by having to reset a password and be told that your new password cannot be the same as your old one.

Tips for creating strong passwords that are hard to forget

  1. Use a memorable phrase or song as your password. Use a mix of lowercase and uppercase letters, and throw in some special characters and numbers to make it strong. A longer password is always better.
  2. Use the name of your favorite TV character. If you’re obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, why not use his name as your password? But add numbers and special characters to make it strong.
  3. Do not use the same password more than once. If you make the mistake of using the same password for multiple accounts, tweak it a bit.

So, if you have multiple accounts and you’re concerned about forgetting the passwords, you can consider using password managers. They are the most secure way of storing passwords. You must remember a single password to access to all your other passwords.

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About the author

Sophia Britt

My name is Sophia and I live in the suburbs of Chicago. I offer real world experience to readers on how to save and smartly spend their money. Plus offer advice on organization, career, business, travel, health, home, education and life.