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BizReport : Internet : December 08, 2014

Lax Internet users need to be reminded to change, safeguard passwords

Consumers fear being hacked and their personal information or even their identity stolen yet, according to new research, many are lax when it comes to passwords and online security.

by Helen Leggatt

I recently reported on ID Watchdog's survey of American consumers that found many are lax when it comes to safeguarding and regularly updating their online passwords despite the news being peppered with individuals and big organizations being hacked.

Across the Atlantic in the U.K., things are not much better. According to research among 1,000 Brits by business technology firm Redcentric, nearly two-thirds (63%) use the same password for multiple different accounts such as banking and social media. Worse still, 17% say they store passwords on their PC or mobile device.

Almost half (43%) believe that their existing passwords won't be guessed by a hacker despite a third of consumers' passwords containing information such as their birth dates, address information or even their name.

According to Redcentric, "online security is paramount in this day and age, especially as people are able to carry out more day-to-day tasks online such as shopping, banking and running businesses. There are obvious concerns when people are using the same passwords over different accounts, especially if those accounts hold personal or financial information".

Redcentric found that two in 10 consumers (21%) only change their password when prompted. That means that if more websites and businesses whose customers use passwords were to provide regular reminders to change passwords, the digital world might be a safer place.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: identity fraud, online security, personal data

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