Do you write your passwords down? Does anyone else have access to your accounts? Do you know what two-factor authentication is and how to use it?
In a recent survey, we partnered with YouGov to ask over 2,000 people* whether they re-use or share their passwords, their concerns around online scams, and about their knowledge of how to report fraudulent adverts and websites. Find out how you compare, and what steps you can take to help keep yourself safe.
of people use the same password for multiple online accounts.*
It can be difficult to remember lots of different passwords, but if a hacker guesses one of them, it’s likely they will try the same password for your other accounts too. Creating different, strong passwords or passphrases rather than using the same one for every account could help. Read more about creating secure passwords and PINs.
Avoid writing passwords down on paper or in diaries, as these can be easily lost and compromised. Instead, you could use a password manager where you can store multiple passwords, or use automatically generated passwords that contain combinations of letters, numbers and special characters, making them harder to guess.
It can be easy to do, especially if it’s someone you trust. It’s important to keep your passwords to yourself so only you have access to your own accounts and personal information.
The main reason people don’t report them is because they didn’t think it would make a difference, or don’t know how to.
If you’ve come across a website or email you think is suspicious, you can report it to the National Cyber Security Centre and they’ll investigate. If you are a victim of fraud or cyber-crime you can report this to Action Fraud. Most social media platforms also have ways to report fraudulent activity - normally from the post’s options button. Reporting suspicious social media posts means they can be removed so others don’t fall victim to the scam.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an extra layer of protection used to strengthen the security of online accounts beyond just a username and password. With 2FA, a potential compromise of just one factor, e.g. your password, would not be enough for someone to access your account, because they'd also need to complete the second verification step. So by turning 2FA on, you reduce the chance of your account being compromised.
*We partnered with YouGov to ask more than 2,000 UK adults about their online password habits, attitudes towards scams and knowledge about staying safe online. View details on how we conducted this research along with the full results here. The statistics we’ve used in this article exclude those who answered “Don’t know” to our questions.