Brits still failing to protect themselves online - survey


The internet is an integral part of everyday life in Britain, from banking to shopping, buying music to keeping in touch with friends.

Almost all essential services are now available online, yet millions of people fail to adequately protect their accounts or personal information according to new research* from

The average Brit is subscribed to seven internet services, such as internet banking or online shopping sites, and almost a third (30 per cent) of people subscribe to 10 or more. However, almost a fifth of people (18 per cent) use the same password for all their accounts and, of those with 10 or more, 18 per cent use the same password for all of them.

Worryingly, the survey also reveals just 12 per cent of people use the recommended secure mix of numbers, capitals and lower case letters when creating their passwords, falling to nine per cent for those in their 60's and eight per cent for those over 70.

James Parker, broadband manager at the UK's leading price comparison site said: "It's hard to think of anything that can't be done online these days. People are signed up to dozens of services, many of which hold personal information such as bank, credit card and address details. It's crucial people take proper precautions to protect themselves from security threats such as phishing emails and malware, those that don't are leaving the door wide open to online thieves and hackers."

A second report** from revealed one in six (16 per cent) people with wireless routers are failing to put a password on their connection and over 3.5 million people (11 per cent)*** admit to having used someone else's wireless internet connection without permission in the past 12 months.

* Opinium Research carried out a poll of 2,088 British adults between 23rd and 26th January 2009. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.
** Opinium Research carried out a poll of 1,992 British adults between 27th and 29th of July 2008. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.
*** 11% of those with Wi-Fi have admitted using have admitted using someone else's internet connection without that persons knowledge = 3.55 million people

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