More than a quarter (26 percent) of Brits use 'common passwords' when it comes to online accounts such as social networks and webmail services, says MyVoucherCodes.
Research by the online discount codes site revealed more than two in five (42 percent) of web users admitted they have the same passwords for every account while just under a third (31 percent) said they have a handful of different passwords they use. Just 22 percent claim to have a different password for each of their online accounts.
The news comes just a week after Microsoft revealed it is banning the use of 'common' passwords, such as '123456' and 'ilovecats' for users of its Hotmail service in a bid to stop webmail accounts being hijacked. The tech giant said a number of common passwords will now be unavailable to new users signing up to use the webmail service, while those that are already using one of these common passwords may be asked to change it to a stronger password in the future.
MyVoucherCodes also said just under a third (32 percent) of web users are not concerned about their accounts getting hacked, with 64 percent of these believing hackers are interested in bigger targets.
More than half (53 percent) of web users surveyed said they have a 'common' password also have a Hotmail account, but only 46 percent of those said that they actively used their account. Furthermore, just 39 percent of those who admitted to using a 'common' password said they would change it.
"It was interesting to see that so many people admitted to having a 'common' password, which would be especially bad for online accounts such as online banking. You really have to be careful with what passwords you choose, as it is so simple for hackers to crack them," said Mark Pearson, chairman of MyVoucherCodes.co.uk.
"Although having the same password for every account is easier to remember, if someone manages to work it out, then all of your accounts are at risk. It is worth having several different ones, but make sure you pick something that is relevant to you and that you will remember."