Brits use the same password for everything

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Millions of people are still using the same password for everything, leaving them vulnerable to fraud, according to a new report.

Marketing services company CPP says that nearly half of Britons use the same password to log in to their banking, shopping and social networking sites, with a further 54 per cent confessing to using minor variations on a theme.

We're a trusting bunch, with nearly 40 per cent of adults admitting that at least one other person knows their passwords – and over half a million confess their former partner has access to their personal login. And over a third think these people may actually have logged in using their details.

To make it even easier for fraudsters, many passwords are easy to guess. One in five people use their pet's name, while 12 percent use memorable dates like birthdays. Ten percent go for their child’s name, and nine percent even use their mother’s maiden name.

Sarah Blaney, identity theft expert at CPP, said: "No sensible person would use the same key for their house, car and garage. In the same way, we shouldn’t use the one password for everything. If possible people should use multiple passwords with a combination of letters and numbers, which should be difficult to crack."

According to the report, one in ten people have had their web accounts accessed by fraudsters, and one in twenty reported that they’d had their identity stolen.