Millions expose themselves to online security riskPasswords poorly chosen and disguised

02 February 2012

Britons leave themselves open to the risk of fraud by failing to pay enough attention to online security measures, according to a study by esure home insurance.

According to esure, 76% of people in the UK use the same password for several different accounts including online banking, email, social media and shopping sites, despite the fact that 10% have had their accounts hacked in the last year.

The study of 1,000 adults also found that the average person is asked to provide a password up to 11 times a day, but 24% keep all of their security passwords in one place.

Pin codes also at risk

Mother’s maiden names are the most common source for passwords even though 15% of people acknowledged that strangers could access that information.

It seems that people take little more care with their Pin than they do with account passwords, as one in seven use their birthday and 10% use a sequence such as ‘1234’ or four identical numbers.

To make matters worse, 17% said they do not do as instructed and destroy the debit or credit card Pin details sent by their bank. A third say they don’t even cover their pin when paying on card or taking cash out.

Be fraud aware

Storing your password in an obvious place is another risky ploy but almost half (48%) of those surveyed said they had them written down on paper, in their phone or on their computer.

The average Briton has been locked out of three accounts, including email or online shopping after forgetting their passwords.

The esure survey found older people to be more security conscious when it comes to their finances, with 86% of people over the age of 55 regularly reading their bank statements to check for fraud. Just 59% of those under 25 do the same.

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