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We all have too many online accounts – and can't remember the passwords

We are all drowning in online accounts for various services, and struggling badly to remember the related passwords, with a new piece of research from Dashlane putting an exact number on this flood of accounts.

The average UK consumer who is online has no less than 118 online accounts, according to the study, which further estimates that this number will almost double up to 207 accounts by the end of the decade.

These numbers were arrived at by sifting through anonymised data drawn from 23,000 users of the company's email auditing tool, Dashlane Inbox Scan.

And naturally, juggling all the passwords for these accounts isn't an easy task, with the research finding that the average UK citizen forgets 49 passwords, with login details being sent to their inbox – adding up to a hell of a lot of wasted time sorting these issues out.

Furthermore, security issues were also highlighted, as when companies reply to users who have forgotten passwords, one in ten sends details in plain text, running the risk of a malicious party managing to sniff out a login for themselves.

Finally, the old bugbear of using the same password for different accounts was also uncovered, with an average UK web user recycling their favourite password six times – potentially giving an attacker access to multiple accounts when they crack one.

Guillaume Desnoës, Head of European Markets at Dashlane, commented: “With so many accounts to access on a daily basis, it’s easy for users to adopt behaviours that may seem simpler at the time, but ultimately compromise their online security and put their data at risk. Using the same password on multiple accounts is a dangerous business that will only get worse in the years to come, as this research shows.”

“Discarded accounts are a ticking time bomb. For every account that falls by the wayside and is forgotten about, a door opens for hackers to slip in undetected, grab your private data and wreak havoc. No one would leave their bank card or ID on the kitchen table before going away on holiday, yet we show much more carelessness when it comes to what we leave unprotected in the digital world.”

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.