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Almost one in four use the same password for all websites
Monday 12 November 2007 15:13:39 by Andrew Ferguson exists to provide an easy guide to ensuring you are safe online. There is a Get Safe Online Awareness Week running from 12th to 16th November which explains why people will be hearing all about the statistics revealed in an ICM survey of 2,013 adults in the UK across a number of media outlets.

  • Almost one in four (24%) use the same password for all websites. The problem is exacerbated amongst the over 65s, of whom 51% use a single password.
  • 13% use the name of a family member or partner for their password. Females are twice as likely (17%) as males to do this.
  • 24% of internet users have opened an email attachment from an unknown source, rising to 36% amongst 18-24 year olds.
  • Over 7.8 million internet users in the UK have left their own wireless internet access unsecured.
  • One third of all internet users (34%) are registered to a social networking website, such as Facebook, MySpace or Friends Reunited. This includes 65% of 18-24 year olds and 49% of 25-34 year olds.
  • 25% of all people using social networking sites have posted confidential or personal information such as their phone number, address or email, on their online profile. This includes 34% of 18-24 year olds and 30% of 25-34 year olds.

Sobering statistics in some cases and perhaps this shows the rate at which society is changing. We have had many years to get to grips with remembering to lock up our homes whereas the internet is still a very immature medium that is changing at a very rapid pace.

The steps to make your online experience safer are easy enough to follow and a few minutes going through the steps to protect your computer are worth doing, even if you think you are protected as there may be something you have forgotten.


Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"25% of all people using social networking sites have posted confidential or personal information such as their phone number, address or email, on their online profile. This includes 34% of 18-24 year olds and 30% of 25-34 year olds."
AKA the fools of society LOL
Posted by Sandgrounder over 9 years ago
I wonder what percentage of us regard even accessing such sites as a risk?
Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
I wish I could find web sites that would all take the same password, I have to use several to comply with the various minimum, maximum length, mandatory numbers / no numbers etc requirements.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Good point herdwick and even if you can use the same password as long as its resonably long, contains a mixture of letters, numbers and/or characters chances are nobody is likely to get hold of it/guess it/brute force it anyway, unless the site you are a member of has a database leak.
Posted by Jerusahat over 9 years ago
I'm more concerned with how these websites are storing my passwords. Using the same for each isn't the weak point, it's the site that uses plain text, or MD5 (salted or otherwise).
Posted by KarlAustin over 9 years ago
lol, since when has an email address been confidentail information?
Posted by irrelevant over 9 years ago
I'm one of the 34% registered on a social networking website. The fact that I've never done anything with it since and have no profile defined doesn't seem to count. Maybe a more accurate figure would be the number of "active" users of such sites.
Posted by irrelevant over 9 years ago
As for passwords. With the sheer number of sites that require you to register just to access them, is it any wonder that people re-use passwords? It's got to the point that requiring registration denegrates the passwords, rather than increasing security.
Posted by Dendo over 9 years ago
Perhaps the time has come to look at an alternative method to paaswords......finger prints are unique to the individual and may be a possible solution? How to utilise fingerprints when signing on I'll leave to Computer IT experts!!
Posted by nstrudwick over 9 years ago
That last point is a good one, as was the earlier one about different pw requirements. Add to that that the human brain just can't remember more than a small range of passwords!

There was something in the press last week about defining a good password as including non-alphanumeric characters--but a hell of a lot of sites prevent this.
Posted by Pixie7 over 9 years ago
What about using a dedicated password manager, then you could log into all the sites you visit automatically. RoboForm is excellent as are i-vault, not so good for Firefox though and Clipperz. All are free and as long as you use a strong enough passphrase for RoboForm you won't have a problem; if you want a webbased alternative go for Clipperz. i-Vault encryption and specialised technology makes it 5,000 times harder to crack your master password.
Posted by davidinnotts over 9 years ago
A tip for handling many passwords and PINs:

Each item's has a general and a site/PIN-specific part. The general part is the same for ALL passwords/PINs. To make a global change, alter this part on every password/PIN.

The 'local' part uses a fixed element from the site or card, so you can look to see what it is every time you access.

Example with credit card PIN: Global part is gran's age at death, (say, 81) The local part is the 4th & 5th digits of the card no. So card 1584 5478... has a PIN of 8145. You remember the 81 & which no. pair to use. Same for passwords.
Posted by db3745 over 9 years ago
Surely there's the world of difference between usernames and passwords which I use for 80% of my web browsing, i.e. entering competitions, as against those I use for banking and the like.
I wouldn't mind who knew the former - I can't see the danger, and it's true that for some sites to require a password is laughable, eg Ben and Jerrys and Fanta. And yes I tend to use the same one(s)
Posted by Dendo over 9 years ago
Further to my comment on replacing passwords with an individuals fingerprint there was a Television News report today Wed 21/11/07 covering the use of individuals fingerprint instead of credit cards in German stores.....will this method eventually replace passwords? Statistic given in the news report was that there is currently a 1 in 10 million chance of an error ocurring using the fingerprint method instead of a credit card.
Posted by Dendo over 9 years ago
Here is the web site giving confirmation but the chance of error is greatly in excess of 1 in 10 million!!
Posted by Dendo over 9 years ago
Sorry, here is the link to the web site:-
Posted by Pixie7 over 9 years ago
Looked at Dendos' link, 1 in 220 million. Iris recognition is definitely the way forward,the uses of this technology so far have been: passports, aviation security, database access, computer login and much more.It's already used in 5 UK airports. Altogether some 60 million persons worldwide have so far had their iris patterns mathematically computed. But until this technology is available to all we still need to make our PCs as secure as possible by following the basic rules of security for ourselves, even more so now that our government is mislaying CDs containing our personal details!
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