Why do people adopt, or reject, smartphone password managers?

Nora Alkaldi, Karen Renaud

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuroUSEC '16
Subtitle of host publicationthe 1st European Workshop on Usable Security
Place of PublicationDarmstadt
PublisherInternet Society
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)1891562452
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event1st European Workshop on Usable Security - Darmstadt, Germany
Duration: 18 Jul 201618 Jul 2016
Conference number: 1


Workshop1st European Workshop on Usable Security
Abbreviated titleEuroUSEC 2016
Internet address


  • Password managers
  • Adoption factors
  • Smartphone applications
  • Password security


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