Why Users (Don't) Use Password Managers at a Large Educational Institution


Peter Mayer, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology; Collins W. Munyendo, The George Washington University; Michelle L. Mazurek, University of Maryland, College Park; Adam J. Aviv, The George Washington University


We quantitatively investigated the current state of Password Manager (PM) usage and general password habits at a large, private university in the United States. Building on prior qualitative findings from SOUPS 2019, we survey n=277 faculty, staff, and students, finding that 77% of our participants already use PMs, but users of third-party PMs, as opposed to browser-based PMs, were significantly less likely to reuse their passwords across accounts. The largest factor encouraging PM adoption is perceived ease-of-use, indicating that communication and institutional campaigns should focus more on usability factors. Additionally, our work indicates the need for design improvements for browser-based PMs to encourage less password reuse as they are more widely adopted.

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@inproceedings {281310,
author = {Peter Mayer and Collins W. Munyendo and Michelle L. Mazurek and Adam J. Aviv},
title = {Why Users (Don{\textquoteright}t) Use Password Managers at a Large Educational Institution},
booktitle = {31st USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security 22)},
year = {2022},
isbn = {978-1-939133-31-1},
address = {Boston, MA},
pages = {1849--1866},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/usenixsecurity22/presentation/mayer},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug,