More than half of Britons admit making their online passwords easily available on the internet and never change their details unless prompted to do so, research indicates.
Experian, the credit reference agency, warns that millions of people leave themselves open to identity fraud by being too relaxed about the information they publish on online dating profiles and social networking sites.
Three of the most regularly used passwords – town of birth, date of birth and name of past schools – also feature in the top 10 personal details which people publish on their online profiles, the poll found.
The survey of more than 2,000 adults online found 18 per cent would publish their town of birth on internet profiles, but only 3 per cent would give this same information to a stranger over the phone.
Almost one in four people (24 per cent) would publish the names of their past schools online, while just 1 per cent of people would provide this information over the phone.
Twenty-seven per cent would publish their date of birth online, with 23 per cent of those surveyed willing to tell it to someone over the phone.
More than half of those surveyed said they used the same password for some or most of their online accounts and 57 per cent admitted using data easily available on social networking and dating sites as their password.
BDST: 1255 HRS, 17 August 2010