Why Do People Adopt, or Reject, Smartphone Password Managers?
Download: Paper (PDF)
Date: 12 Aug 2016
Document Type: Presentations
Associated Event: NDSS Symposium 2016
People use weak passwords for a variety of reasons, the most prescient of these being memory load and inconvenience. The motivation to choose weak passwords is even more compelling on Smartphones because entering complex passwords is particularly time consuming and arduous on small devices. Many of the memory- and inconvenience-related issues can be ameliorated by using a password manager app. Such an app can generate, remember and automatically supply passwords to websites and other apps on the phone. Given this potential, it is unfortunate that these applications have not enjoyed widespread adoption. We carried out a study to find out why this was so, to investigate factors that impeded or encouraged password manager adoption. We found that a number of factors mediated during all three phases of adoption: searching, deciding and trialling. The study’s findings will help us to market these tools more effectively in order to encourage future adoption of password managers.