Chores Rank Higher than Passwords, Study Says

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 29 Aug, 2012

Is solving world peace easier than remembering passwords?

While the answer to that question should be obvious, a new study from Janrain and Harris Interactive reveals that 38 percent of adults sometimes think it would be easier to solve world peace than attempt to remember all of their passwords.

The 2012 Online Registration and Password study finds that 58 percent of online adults have five or more unique passwords associated with their online logins, and 30 percent of people have more than 10 unique passwords that they need to remember. All of these passwords have led to an increasingly common problem - Password Fatigue.

"With all of the different websites consumers log into on a regular basis - from email and social networks to online banking and ecommerce sites - it's no wonder people are struggling to remember such a large number of passwords," says Larry Drebes, CEO of Janrain. "What's surprising is that consumers think cleaning their bathroom, or in the extreme cases, trying to solve world peace, sounds preferable to adding yet another password to the list."

While most consumers know that it's important to create a variety of strong passwords to protect their identity online, the problem is coming up with different logins - and then actually remembering the passwords for the appropriate sites.

In fact, the study shows that recalling complicated passwords when needed tends to be when people run into trouble, with 37 percent of survey participants claiming that they have had to ask for assistance in recovering their user name or password for at least one website each month. This had led to 38 percent of survey respondents claiming that they rather undertake household chores, like doing the dishes or even cleaning the toilet, than have to create another online identity.

However, it is important to note that frustrations don't only lie with having to create a new user name and password, because the majority of respondents are also irritated with having to enter their personal information when registering to websites. This could be because most people don't know how sites use their information - for example, 62 percent of the survey respondents would be willing to enter more personal information if they knew how the site or brand was planning to use it.

So, with 84 percent of people claiming that they dislike being asked to register when they arrive at a website, what are site owners to do? The best option is to offer social login, which enables site visitors to register to a new website through an existing social profile. This not only benefits the consumer who doesn't have to create and remember a new username and password, but also benefits the site owner who can leverage the data that is already connected to the visitor's social profile.

Another option is to create shorter registration forms. The study reveals that 44 percent of respondents find online registration forms to be too long, which can potentially lead visitors to not only abandon the registration process, but also abandon the website altogether. But if your marketing department can't go without the personalized data that is captured from the registration process, you can always clearly outline what the requested information is being used for.