Millennials Are Lax On Passwords, But That’s Where Biometrics Come In: Study

“…75 percent of millennials said they are comfortable using biometrics now, compared to the general average of 67 percent, and 58 percent for those over the age of 55.”

Consumers are more concerned than ever about digital security, and millennials are leading the charge to replace the password with biometrics, suggest the results of a new IBM study.Millennials Are Lax On Passwords, But That's Where Biometrics Come In: Study

The IBM Security: Future of Identity Study is based on surveys of almost 4,000 adults across the US, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region. Among its key findings: 70 percent said that for financial services apps, security trumps convenience and privacy considerations. While those three considerations were on more equal footing when it came to logging into social media apps, IBM framed the findings as being in contrast with the long-held view that consumers always want convenience above all.

As for security mechanisms, the study found that older adults are more careful in using complex passwords and not reusing passwords, but millennials are more open to more sophisticated security technologies. Millennials were found to be twice as likely as individuals over the age of 55 to use a password manager, and were a little more likely to enable two-factor authentication after a security breach. They were also the most likely to use biometric security: 75 percent of millennials said they are comfortable using biometrics now, compared to the general average of 67 percent, and 58 percent for those over the age of 55.

Incidentally, millennials also proved to be the group that most valued convenience in the login process, with 47 percent of respondents under the age of 24 saying they prefer greater speed to greater security. While that attitude may prompt some finger-wagging from those are practice better password hygiene – still an important practice, even with biometrics on the rise – it also suggests that as the mainstream market increasingly caters to millennial preferences, there’s a real opportunity for biometric technology to become the key security technology of a generation.

January 29, 2018 – by Alex Perala