University of Twente Student Theses


Forgot Your Password? Motivating the Adoption of a Password Manager

Graf, Sophie (2022) Forgot Your Password? Motivating the Adoption of a Password Manager.

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Abstract:Hacking attacks pose one of the most common threats online. While strong passwords effectively protect online accounts from such attacks, users often resort to weak passwords due to the burden of remembering secure passwords. While password managers can solve this problem, adoption rates are still low. This experimental study was conducted to test the effectiveness of coping nudges (i.e., self-efficacy, response efficacy, response cost) based on Protection Motivation Theory to raise behavioural intention to adopt a password manager and facilitate password manager adoption. For this purpose, a randomized controlled trial was implemented with a prepost measurement of behavioural intention. I controlled for the potential influence of other variables on behavioural intention (i.e., initial trust in password managers, password management practices and knowledge, security attitudes). In a follow up study after two weeks, it was assessed whether participants followed through on their behavioural intention. The results demonstrate that coping nudges did not encourage PM adoption or increase behavioural intention to adopt a PM. However, initial trust in password managers significantly predicted the intention to adopt a password manager. Based on the findings, I suggest that advertisements for password managers should highlight their trustworthiness, and future studies could research effective ways to foster the user’s trust in password managers. The main conclusion is that password manager adoption appears to be substantially different from the implementation of other cyber security measures.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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