Save time, save the planet–go passwordless!

In honor of Earth Day, Stytch conducted a thought experiment to determine how much time (and energy!) you can save by eliminating passwords. 

Think about it. How often do you find yourself stuck on the login page, trying to remember which iteration of your go-to password did you use? Or have you given up and reset your password for the umpteenth time? Or even worse, gotten stuck in a reCAPTCHA loop, desperately trying to prove you’re not a robot?

Ever think about how much screen time you’re wasting on passwords? 🧐 Ever wonder the environmental impact of all this screen-time wasted on passwords?👩‍💻 Let’s break it down…

How much time are you wasting?* ⏰

Starting with some assumptions:

Under these assumptions, we can conclude that the average human spends about 1.5 hours typing in their passwords and 10 hours resetting their passwords, each year. This does not even include the time spent setting up their accounts and a new password!

A study has shown that the average human has about 100 passwords (and therefore 100 different accounts or so). In recent years, the number of passwords is also increasing rapidly due to the spike in online shopping and entertainment from the pandemic. Assuming these accounts do not use OAuth logins, embeddable magic links, or any other passwordless solution, setting up all these accounts may take as long as 30 minutes. 

This means, in a lifetime, the average human can spend up to 27.5 days on passwords. (That’s practically the whole month of February!)

And since it’s Earth Day, let’s consider the carbon footprint of 27.5 days of screen time.

How much energy are you wasting? 🚗

Assuming all password usage is on the laptop, a single person’s password usage results in 0.01-0.03 metric tons of CO2, the equivalent of 3.2 gallons of gasoline consumed. This may not seem like much, but this is just for one human. 

If we step back a bit and just consider the carbon impact across all adult Americans, this number increases to 4.1M metric tons of CO2! This is the equivalent of the greenhouse gas emissions from 877,415 gasoline-powered passenger cars in one year and would take 4.8 million acres of US forests to sequester the carbon for one year. For context, that’s all the forests within the state of New Hampshire. (We have references! See below.)

🤯

Turns out, we spend a lot of screen-time on passwords and as a by-product, produce a non-negligible amount of CO2. What would you do with a whole month saved?  

Life doesn’t have to be this way – learn how Stytch can help lead us to a passwordless future

Get started 🤓

Whether you’re looking to save more time, to ship more 🚀, plant a tree 🌳, or have more quality time, learn how to go passwordless with Stytch. See here for all of our product offerings and to find the best solution for you and subscribe to our Changelog to keep up with all the things we’re shipping! You can register for a developer account here or contact support@stytch.com

Notes & References:

*This is a thought exercise; assumptions were made based off research and the following resources:

  • Average length of passwords: 9.6 characters. Source: Infosec.
  • Average typing speed: 190 – 200 characters per minute (assumes upper end). Source: Livechat.
  • Average log-in times: assume 5x a day based on user research. 
    • Included in assumptions: health advisors recommend taking a 5 min break, every hour working at a laptop, and social media trends. Source: Quora.
  • Password resets: at least 5x a month, at least 10min each time. Source: Study Finds, The National News.
  • Digital lifespan:
    • Current life expectancy (2022): 72.98 years. Source: Macrotrends.
    • First email usage: 10 – 15 years old (assumes upper end) Source: MarketingCharts.
  • Average person has 100 passwords. Source: Tech.co.
  • Setting up an account: 
    • Average full name: 13.6 characters. Source: Researchgate.
    • Assumes username is an email. Average email length: 25 characters. Source: Baymard.
    • Assumes process consists of typing in a full name, an username, a password twice.
  • American adults who own a laptop: ~190M. 
  • Carbon Emissions:
    • Laptop uses between 50 – 100W/hour (assumes average to high end). Source: Energuide.
    • Greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator. Source: EPA.
    • New Hampshire has 4.8 million acres of forest. Source: Stacker.