Saturday, 13 Jul 2024

More than 1 in 3 people have tried to guess someone else’s password: 3 in 4 succeed

how to guess someone's password on their phone

Have you ever wondered how easy it would be for someone to guess your password? Are you concerned about the security of your personal and professional accounts? In today’s digital world, password habits can pose a significant risk to both individuals and companies. This article will explore the alarming statistics on password guessing and offer tips to tighten up your security processes.

Password Sharing and Guessing

A recent study conducted by New York-based digital identity firm Beyond Identity revealed some unsettling findings about password habits. The study involved interviews with 1,015 people in the US, shedding light on their password-making strategies and online safety practices.

Here are some key findings:

  • Over half of the respondents (50.1%) share their video streaming account passwords, while nearly as many (44.9%) share their music streaming account passwords.
  • Shockingly, one in four respondents (25.7%) share passwords to their online banking accounts.
  • On average, people share three of their passwords with others.
  • Astonishingly, over 73% of people succeeded in guessing someone’s password.

Who Is at Risk?

The study also revealed the most common targets for password guessing:

  • Romantic partners: More than half of the respondents (51.6%) attempt to guess their partner’s password.
  • Children: Almost one in four respondents (24.6%) try to guess their child’s password.
  • Co-workers: Around 22% of respondents attempt to guess their co-worker’s password.
  • Ex-partners and bosses: Approximately one in five respondents (19.9%) try to guess their ex-partner’s or boss’ password.
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Tactics for Guessing Passwords

People employ various tactics when trying to guess passwords. These tactics include:

  • Using personal information known about the other person (39.2%).
  • Checking the person’s social media profiles for clues (18.4%).

Common Targets

Interestingly, people are most interested in gaining access to the accounts of their romantic partners. For those attempting to guess their boss’ password, the target is usually the employer’s work email. Phones are the most common target for those guessing their romantic partner’s password.

Creating Strong Passwords

Despite the risks, the study found that many people do not prioritize strong password creation. Some notable findings include:

  • Almost two in five respondents (37.6%) never use a password generator.
  • The average password length is 15 characters.
  • Over one in four respondents (27.4%) choose their pet’s names as passwords.
  • Roughly one in three respondents (27%) use random letters, while three in ten (30.7%) use random characters to replace letters.
  • Generation X individuals were most likely to use a password generator, while half of the baby boomers had never used one.

Consequences of Weak Passwords

With easy-to-guess passwords, it is no surprise that 18% of people have had their online banking accounts compromised or hacked. Even having a strong password policy in place can lead to its own challenges, as some individuals resort to writing down their complicated passwords, undermining their effectiveness.

Enhancing Password Security

Here are a few tips to help you enhance your password security:

  • Utilize two-factor authentication and authenticator apps to add an extra layer of security.
  • Stay vigilant against scams and social engineering attempts to trick you into revealing your password.
  • Consider using a password vault to manage your passwords effectively.
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Remember, ensuring the security of your online accounts is essential in today’s digital landscape. Take the necessary steps to protect yourself and prevent unauthorized access to your personal and professional information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is it safe to use built-in password management tools in browsers?
A: Using built-in password management tools in browsers can be convenient, but it is advisable to use a dedicated password manager to enhance security.

Q: How many passwords should I share with others?
A: It is best to avoid sharing passwords altogether. Sharing passwords increases the risk of unauthorized access to your accounts.

Q: How long should my password be?
A: It is recommended to create passwords that are at least 15 characters long to make them more secure.


In conclusion, password guessing is a prevalent issue that puts both individuals and companies at risk. By understanding the risks associated with weak passwords and implementing effective security measures, such as two-factor authentication and password vaults, you can significantly enhance the security of your online accounts. Stay vigilant, be mindful of password-sharing practices, and prioritize creating strong passwords to protect your digital identity. Safeguarding your accounts is crucial in today’s interconnected world.

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