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How Common Is Video Service Password Sharing? 16% Do It
Biometric methods of signing onto services are more secure, but consumers prefer traditional password access.

Providing a definitive number on video service password sharing, the researchers at Parks Associates say 16 percent of broadband-enabled households in the U.S. share passwords with other people.

That figure is part of a deeper look at video service authentication methods. Consumers surveyed by Parks show the most willingness to use a password sign-on system where a password is entered once and saved on a device. Consumers show much less willingness to use more secure biometric systems, such as those requiring a thumbprint scan, voice authentication, retina scan, or face scan. Parks research analyst Billy Nayden notes that the idea of passwords is ingrained in the video service experience. But he sees the move to biometric security as an essential, good for both the services and their customers.

“As the number of connected devices and subscription services available to the consumer rises, passwords will become an increasingly cumbersome burden for users," Nayden says. "Remembering multiple usernames and passwords is already difficult for most users, and increasing the number of logins will only exacerbate that challenge. While there will be intermediate steps, like password managers, to encourage a change in consumer behavior, ultimately, more advanced methods of authentication, like biometrics, will become mainstream.”

In order for these new sign-on methods to gain traction, they need to be frictionless. If they don't work as they should, customers will use standard passwords or cancel their subscriptions.

Parks also finds that 62 percent of those surveyed are highly concerned with hackers accessing their online services and personal information.

This data comes from the report "Innovations in Authentication and Personalization Technologies," available for purchase.

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