Hot Topics     Home and Family    

The dangers of using your pet's name as a password



Aura research finds families vulnerable online

Pet passwords can be dangerous


Aura
, the leader in intelligent safety for consumers, today introduced a public safety awareness campaign encouraging families to bolster their online safety habits. Marking the start of National Pet Month and World Password Day on May 5, Aura has released new data that found more than one-third (39%) of American pet parents have used their pet's name as part of their password for an online account. That stat rises to 1 in 2 (50%) among pet parents between 35-44 years old. 

Through this campaign, Aura aims to highlight to families that while using a pet's name as a password may be a show of love and an easy-to-remember access code to your online life, pet passwords are some of the easiest for cybercriminals to guess.

"People tend to create passwords that are both meaningful and easy to memorize for use across various platforms. However, simplicity and ease are two descriptors that should never be used regarding your passwords. That means the password is hardly protecting your accounts and your assets," said Kelly Merryman, president & COO of Aura. "Strong, unique passwords are the most important — and sometimes only — protection we have against hackers."

Pet names are often widely known and easily searchable on social media or online. In fact, pet parents are often their pets' publicists. Aura's survey found of those who use their pets' names in passwords:

  • 59% have posted a photo of their pet to social media
  • 48% have posted their pet's name on social media
  • 36% of those who have ever posted their pet's name on social media have 500 or more followers on their social accounts

In addition, 63% of parents of children under 18 who have ever owned a pet have used their pet's name as their password, and 52% have posted their pet's name on social media.

Introducing Aura's Spokespets

To call attention to this safety risk, Aura has partnered with four famous pets who are no strangers to sharing their information online. The Aura "Spokespets" will serve as safety ambassadors for the brand, sharing recommendations for pet parents on better ways to show love for their animals and tips to keep the whole family safe online. Aura's inaugural class of Spokespets are:

Promoting Password Hygiene

In addition to pet names, Americans have used notable dates like birthdays or anniversaries (40%), family members' names (34%) and sports teams (22%) as part of their passwords. 

Using personal information that a hacker or scammer can easily find makes an online user vulnerable to cyberattack. These criminals often use automated technology and bots to trial different combinations of personal details and numbers in combination with stolen user IDs to break into and take control of accounts. In fact, one of the FBI's most-wanted cybercriminals suspects that he was caught after federal authorities correctly guessed his password - his cat's name followed by the number "123."

READ MORE: How to prevent cyberbullying with technology

The impact of a targeted attack has a wide blast radius when you consider that nearly half (47%) of pet parents who have used their pet's name as part of their passwords admit that they use the same password for most or all of their online accounts. 23% of this group have shared their frequently-used passwords with people outside their immediate household. 7 in 10 (74%) say they only change their passwords if they are forced to update them.

For pet lovers who don't want to spend their days ideating complex, unique passwords, Aura recommends calling for backup. Aura's platform proactively identifies and prevents online threats. As part of its intelligent safety platform, Aura's password manager stores all your passwords in one secure place and generates unique, strong passwords to secure your online accounts. What's more, Aura will proactively alert you if you have a weak or breached password, and auto-update your credentials on select sites.

For more on Aura's intelligent safety platform and tips on creating stronger passwords, visit aura.com/petpasswords.

Survey Method

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Aura from April 19-21, 2022, among 2,082 adults ages 18+, of whom 1,835 have owned a pet. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact media@aura.com.

Aura, the leader in intelligent safety solutions, provides all-in-one digital protection for consumers. We understand that the online safety needs of each individual are unique and require a personalized solution. By bringing together security, privacy and parental controls on an intelligent platform, Aura makes adaptive and proactive digital safety accessible to everyone. Visit www.aura.com.



Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • Hudson Valley Section of the NYS Birding Trail is Live!

    World-class birding opportunities across the state

    Birding is a fun activity that everyone can enjoy! From Montauk to Buffalo, New York is home to a vast array of amazing habitat that supports over 450 different bird species. Birding, or birdwatching, is one of the fastest growing outdoor recreational activities that can be enjoyed by all ages and experiences, plus it's a great way to get outdoors. read more »
  • Historic Hudson Valley Landmarks Reopen to Visitors

    Philipsburg Manor, Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, Union Church, and Kykuit open in May

    Historic Hudson Valley will welcome the public to Philipsburg Manor, Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, and Union Church beginning Friday, May 6; and Kykuit, the Rockefeller estate, beginning on Saturday, May 21. Visitors will be able to tour all four of these National Historic Landmarks through November. read more »
  • Strengthening support for new mothers

    2 companies provide research-based solutions benefiting the parenting journey

    Medela, the most trusted breast pump brand*, has announced a partnership with Expectful, a holistic maternal health platform for fertility, pregnancy, and motherhood, to offer breastfeeding and pumping education and discounted access to wellness support to new moms. The two brands share a commitment to improving the motherhood experience through research-backed products that can be trusted to truly make a difference. read more »
  • Poor oral health can cause serious medical conditions

    New Delta Dental report finds many are unaware of this connection

    Delta Dental released the 2022 State of America's Oral Health and Wellness Report, a nationwide analysis of consumer opinions and behaviors relating to oral health. Findings from the Delta Dental-commissioned research of U.S. adults and parents of children ages 12 and younger illuminate what they thought about their oral health and what they did to properly care for it at home and with their dentist during 2021. read more »
  • Memorial Day crafts for kids

    Teach your kids about this special holiday while you make something special

    The national holiday was established to honor those who have died in American wars. Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day. It originated during the American Civil War, when citizens would place flowers on the graves of those who had been killed in battle. read more »
  • Parents experiencing frustration over the national baby formula shortage

    NYS Division of Consumer Protection Offers Guidance

    New Yorkers need to be aware of unscrupulous practices from individuals who are using the baby formula shortages to scam desperate parents. These scams are typically rooted in online sales, and private sellers who are marketing cans for double the price knowing that big retailers have empty shelves and little information about when they may receive the next shipment. read more »
  • Leave young wildlife in the wild

    Human interactions do more harm than good to wild animals

    New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos is reminding New Yorkers to appreciate wildlife from a distance and resist the urge to pick up newborn fawns and other young wildlife. read more »
  • Top toy picks for spring & summer '22

    New list from the Toy Association & Clamour

    As kids and families gear up for a fun-filled summer of play, the "Best of Spring & Summer 2022 Influencer Choice List," presented by The Toy Association and powered by Clamour, today unveiled the hottest toys and games as voted on by top-tier toy and family content creators. Consumers can shop the list for toy ideas that will keep kids engaged all summer long – from playthings perfect for backyard fun to creative toys and games for rainy days. read more »
  • Girls Code Club Summer Camp

    Newburgh Free Library Accepting Applications

    The Newburgh Girl’s Code Club is now accepting applications for the Summer 2022 Code Camp. Newburgh Girl’s Code Club or NGCC is an initiative funded by Rowley Family Foundation Fund for Women & Children to address the issue of gender inequality in the technology field by providing youth access, education, and exposure to engineering skills in a casual club environment at the Newburgh Free Library. read more »
  • Kids are bouncing back after summer injuries

    Tips for parents to help kids comfortably and safely recover from an injury

    Skinned knees and bumps and bruises are a common occurrence with kids being so active, but unfortunately, serious injuries like broken bones or deep cuts can occur as well. Parents can be proactive in their child’s recovery process if they do suffer an injury this summer utilizing some simple tips read more »