These 20 US cities have the worst cybersecurity habits

Many residents in these areas have weak passwords and reuse passwords, according to Dashlane.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Minneapolis, MN; Seattle, WA; and San Francisco, CA are least cybersecure cities in 2018. — Dashlane, 2018
  • Fort Meade, MD; Cupertino, CA; and Redwood City, CA top the list of most cybersecure cities in 2018. — Dashlane, 2018

Despite the risks that weak and reused passwords pose to an enterprise, residents of many cities fail to remedy this issue and continue putting themselves at risk for cyberattacks, according to a new report of city cybersecurity rankings from security manager Dashlane.

The scores for each city are based on metrics including average password strength and average number of reused passwords.

"The analysis reveals numerous regional trends that suggest people in certain areas may take their password security more seriously than others," Emmanuel Schalit, CEO of Dashlane, said in a press release.

SEE: Security awareness and training policy (Tech Pro Research)

Business users in particular must ensure their passwords are strong, as employees remain the no. 1 cause of company data breaches, and passwords are a common digital entry point for hackers.

Here are the 20 least cybersecure cities in 2018, according to Dashlane (some numbers are repeated, representing a tie):

1. Minneapolis, MN

2. Seattle, WA

3. San Francisco - Oakland, CA

4. Detroit, MI

5. Chicago, IL

5. Denver, CO

5. New York, NY

8. Saint Louis, MO

8. Washington, DC

10. Miami - Fort Lauderdale, FL

12. Boston, MA

13. Philadelphia, PA

14. San Diego, CA

15. Tampa - St. Petersburg, FL

16. Los Angeles, CA

17. Dallas, TX

17. Phoenix, AZ

19. Houston, TX

20. Atlanta, GA

In terms of most secure cities, Dashlane examined 20 US metro areas that are home to prominent companies and organizations. Of those, Fort Meade, MD (headquarters of the NSA) topped the list, and a number of California cities including Cupertino (home of Apple), Redwood City (home of Oracle), Menlo Park (home of Facebook), and Mountain View (home of Google) came in the top 10.

What does this tell us? For one, Texas is an area of particular risk, as major cities Dallas and Houston scored near the bottom of the list. Outside of San Francisco, Northern California saw better scores across the board than most other cities—likely due in part to the influence of the number of large tech companies in those areas, the report noted. Four out of the six lowest-scoring cities hail from the south. And despite massive populations, Chicago and New York City managed to score in the top five most secure cities.

Dashlane offered the following tips to improve your online security, wherever you live:

  • Generate passwords that exceed the minimum of 8 characters
  • Create passwords with a mix of case-sensitive letters, numbers, and special symbols
  • Use a unique password for every online account
  • Avoid using passwords that contain common words, phrases, slang, places, or names

Also see

Image: iStockphoto/BeeBright

About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox