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Nearly one in 10 people ‘use their own name in online passwords’

Vicky Shaw, PA Personal Finance Correspondent
·2-min read

Nearly one in 10 (9%) people use their own name in their online passwords, a survey has found.

In signs that many people are using passwords that could be easy for fraudsters to guess, less than half of people said they never include personal information in their online passwords, credit score company ClearScore found.

One in 14 (7%) people use the name of their partner or spouse.

And 9% of those surveyed use their children’s names, while 17% use the name of a cherished family pet.

One in 16 (6%) said they use their location, for example the street or house name, town or city where they live.

Many also use meaningful numbers and dates, with 12% using their own birthday or date of birth, 6% using their spouse’s birthday and 6% using children’s birthdays. One in 20 (5%) use anniversary dates in passwords.

The same proportion (5%) use a car or vehicle brand in passwords, while 6% use the name of their favourite band or musician and 8% use their favourite sports team.

Only 45% of people surveyed said they never include any personal information in passwords.

And two-thirds (66%) of people confessed to posting their secure personal information, including passwords and memorable words publicly on social media.

The findings, from a survey of 2,000 people across the UK in April, were released to coincide with the launch of a new paid-for service called ClearScore Protect Plus.

The service will provide daily credit report updates and access to a dedicated support manager if someone becomes the victim of a fraud, and search for instances where someone’s personal information may have been shared by fraudsters, sending alerts if breaches are detected.

More than half (53%) of people surveyed believe that they would change their password after one security breach being detected.

But ClearScore said its own internal data suggests that 94% of people take no action after a password breach has been flagged.