Industry News

Four in 10 employees share job passwords with family members

Even though employees claim to prioritize online security and understand risky versus safe behavior, they fail to follow best practices consistently, a recent survey shows. While 78 percent believe it’s risky to share passwords with family members, 37 percent are likely to do so.

Some 58 percent of respondents believe that protecting work-related information is very important — even more so than their personal emails and home addresses. Most respondents (54 percent) also admit to sharing their login information with family members so they can access their computers, smartphones and tablets.

Half of respondents admit they are likely to reuse passwords for work-related accounts. Some 62 percent are likely to reuse passwords for personal accounts. While 66 percent say they wouldn’t give up their personal email login credentials for anything, a surprising 20 percent would trade them for a paid mortgage or rent for one year, and 19 percent would give up their personal email login credentials to pay off student loans or higher education tuition. People are more careful concerning their work login credentials: 74 percent would not give up their work email login credentials for anything.

The survey respondents credit IT for implementing good or excellent password policies and enforcement. However, they lack confidence in the IT department’s efficacy in preventing data breaches. In the event of a data breach, most employees say the blame would fall on IT rather than their own personal risky behavior.

Some 82 percent say their company has good or excellent password and authorization measures, 76 percent are prompted to change their passwords every one to three months by IT and 59 percent believe IT is ultimately accountable in the event of a corporate data breach. C-level executives are the next to be held accountable, at 17 percent. Only one in 10 employees (11 percent) believe they can be held accountable for a breach.

Ping Identity surveyed in October 2015 a representative sample of U.S. adults who work either part time or full time at businesses with more than 1,000 employees.

About the author


Former business journalist, Razvan is passionate about supporting SMEs into building communities and exchanging knowledge on entrepreneurship. He enjoys having innovative approaches on hot topics and thinks that the massive amount of information that attacks us on a daily basis via TV and internet makes us less informed than we even think. The lack of relevance is the main issue in nowadays environment so he plans to emphasize real news on


Click here to post a comment
  • ’74 percent would not give up their work email login credentials for anything.’

    … and anyone who would do so should be fired on the spot. Surely it is against the corporate policy, anyway, and if it isn’t it bloody well should be. To think that anyone would risk the security of their employer (or its network) … ironically it would also risk their job but who cares about their job if they’re the ones willing to risk it ? The employer, organisations that deal with their employer and other employees should also be considered.

    Exceedingly shameful.