Why Do We Forget Passwords?

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Most of us often forget the passwords of our websites and accounts and then spend a lot of time resetting passwords. Are you experiencing the same and wondering why so? While we are dealing with various accounts and websites, it’s not easy to remember each and every password. According to ExpressVPN’s password survey, on average, a person wastes 3 minutes 46 seconds to rest their passwords each time they fail to recall them. It’s not only about wasting a few minutes, we often get frustrated when we have to go through the steps of “forget my password”. So, let’s understand the scientific reasons why we often forget passwords.

What contributes to us forgetting our passwords so often?

Nowadays, we deal with various accounts and websites and use different passwords for different accounts to make them more secure. Therefore, it’s really hard to recall every password, especially when they consist of various letters, symbols, and numbers. To understand why people forget passwords, Rutgers-New BrunswickUniversity conducted a study. According to the study, whether we will remember a password or not significantly depends on how often we use that password and the importance of the password to us. Janne Lindqvist, the co-author of this study, claims that the websites guide us to make a strong password, but they do not put any effort to help us remember the password.

There are various other reasons behind forgetting a password, such as-

  • In most cases, you do not need a password to log into your account. This is because while you are using any account on your personal device, you do not log out after using the account. Therefore, you don’t need to remember your password when you know you can use your account without logging into the account every time.
  • Most of us use so many accounts that it’s hard to remember every password unless you create the same password for every account.
  • After creating a password, most websites allow you to automatically save the password. So, you do not feel the need for remembering your password.
  • To avoid data leaks and breaches, websites tell us to provide complex passwords. When you create a complex password, you are more likely to forget that.
  • Another reason for forgetting the password is that we know there is a way to reset it later. Every website allows you to reset your password. ExpressVPN’s password survey found that when it comes to resetting a password, 52% of US respondents do so no less than once a month and this number for France and the UK is respectively 53% and 50 %.
  • Lastly, you can recall a password when you use it often. But if you do not use any password continuously, you are not likely to recall that.

Waste of Time Resetting Passwords:

The survey looks across four countries and reveals that the average time wasted by people to reset a password is 3 minutes 46 seconds. While this number is more for Americans- 37% of Americans take more than 4 minutes while 7% take more than 10 minutes. Along with this, if we consider the number of times people forget their passwords in a year, we will find that an individual spends approximately 26 hours every year resetting his or her passwords.