66 Per Cent of Internet Users Reuse their Password

The Get Safe Online campaign has introduced a new '2008 UK Internet Security' report, which reveals that 66% of Internet surfers use the same password for multiple websites. Furthermore 23% have posted confidential or personal information online and 17% had opened email attachments from an unknown source.

Naturally many Internet users end up experiencing computer safety and security problems because of such lapses. Roughly 36% admit to having been the victim of a virus attack, 23% have fallen victim to phishing, 16% to scam emails or websites, 15% to identity theft, 10% to a computer hack and 6% to online harassment/bullying.

Despite this problem most UK Internet users remain confident about using the web, with (33%) spending between one and two hours a day online; and almost one in six (15%) spending three to four hours a day surfing the web. Only 4% stated their use as 'rare', while 3% do not have access to a computer at home. The most popular online activities are shown below:

Encouragingly, 85% of UK internet users today have some form of virus protection software, though this figure has been relatively stable over the last two years. More than half (52%) had updated their antivirus software in the last month, compared to just over a third (38%) two years ago.

84% of respondents have a firewall in place, but other basic measures such as anti-spyware and anti-phishing software are being used less frequently (77% and 53%, respectively). Typically surfers are recommended to keep their software up-to-date (e.g. anti-virus), make regular backups, block spam emails and encrypt any wireless networks.

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