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    Generational Differences in Password Management Behaviour

    HCI 2018

    Proceedings of the 32nd International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2018)

    Belfast, UK, 4 - 6 July 2018


    Burak Merdenyan & Helen Petrie



    Passwords still remain a very common authentication method for online accounts. Many studies have investigated people’s risky password management behaviour, including reusing passwords, writing them down, and sharing them with others. However, most studies provide limited information about the demographics of their participants. There may be substantial differences in password management behaviour between younger and older people, as they represent very different generations with different experiences of the Internet, and investigation of these differences could be a first step to helping people manage their passwords more appropriately. An online survey asked 45 younger and 47 older people about their password management behaviour.

    Significant generational differences were found in password behaviours including storing passwords, sharing them with others, forgetting them, and logging in from a shared computer. There were also significant differences in respondents’ ratings of their password security knowledge and password strength. Finally, there was a significant social desirability bias in answers to several questions.


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