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The government's Cyber Aware campaign has highlighted how the majority of Britons are using the same password for online services and sending personal data via online messaging.
Approximately 79 per cent of the 2,261 respondents admitted that they had sent bank details or copies of passports and driving licences via messaging systems, highlighting the danger of identity theft.
Det Insp Mick Dodge, national cyber-protect co-ordinator with the City of London police, stated that bank statements, electronic copies of signatures and other important documents could all be sitting in lists of sent emails, which are unlikely to be deleted. He warned that an email account with such personal information readily available is like a ‘treasure trove of information that hackers won't hesitate to exploit’.
The campaign also found that 52 per cent of Britons aged 18-25 are using the same password for lots of online services, with the average person regularly using at least six other online accounts, although some said they had as many as 21 other accounts that they logged into frequently.
The UK's Cyber Aware campaign recommended that people use a strong and separate password for their email accounts, discouraging the use of children’s names, pets or favourite sports teams for their password.