Poor password security leaves people open to cyber crime

A third (30%) of UK adults have admitted to using something personal, such as their date of birth, maiden name or home address to create their password, much of which is easily accessible online. Almost half (44%) said they rarely or never change their online password – further increasing the risk.

The findings also show that, when it comes to protecting their information on mobile devices, many Britons are leaving the door wide open to fraudsters. Four in 10 (37%) don’t password-protect their mobile devices and less than one in ten (9%) are concerned that their online security could be compromised by cybercriminals through mobile apps, many of which hold vast amounts of personal data.

The Experian research shows a trend that as awareness of data breaches increases, so do people’s expectations of organisations to safeguard their personal information. This may be part of the reason many are falling behind in protecting their own information from fraudsters. 77% now believe it is the responsibility of organisations to ensure they are well protected online, almost twice as many as in 2012 (40%).

Amir Goshtai, Managing Director at Experian says: “Whilst most of us take the necessary steps to protect our homes from burglars, not everyone is taking the same care to protect their possessions online. We wouldn’t use one key for all the doors and windows in our home – and most of us wouldn’t leave a key in the front door so anyone could get in. So we encourage people to think of their ‘21st century keys’ in the same way – things like the passwords we use to secure the doors to our personal information online.”

Experian has partnered with the City of London Police to encourage people to review their ‘21st Century Locks’ to protect information from the growing threat of online identity theft.

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