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Extended results of Norwegian password security survey

Kirsi Helkala (Norwegian Defence Cyber Academy, Lillehammer, Norway)
Tone Hoddø Bakås (Norwegian Centre for Information Security, Gjøvik, Norway)

Information Management & Computer Security

ISSN: 0968-5227

Article publication date: 7 October 2014




The purpose of this paper is to extend the results of a Norwegian password security survey. Research, especially in the early 21st century, has shown that education is needed to change people’s behaviour regarding password generation, management and storage. As our daily routines and duties have become more dependent on electronic services in the last decade, one could think that qualitative education is nowadays given to users. This survey is to verify that assumption.


A nation-wide demographic survey among employees in Norway with a sample of 1,003 respondents at the ages of 18-64 years was conducted in October 2012.


The results show that the education or proper guidance seldom is given leading to the outdated users’ behaviour.

Research limitations

The results of the study are limited to the employed only and they do not explain behaviour of students, teenagers or children.

Social implications

During the current year, the results of the study have been discussed several times in national media and, hopefully, have an impact to employees’ behaviour. The results have also been used in the National Security Month campaign in October 2013.


The questionnaire itself is not unique. However, the large amount of respondents gives higher value to the results.



Helkala, K. and Hoddø Bakås, T. (2014), "Extended results of Norwegian password security survey", Information Management & Computer Security, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 346-357.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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