Majority of UK Adults Reuse Passwords Across Web Sites

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According to the results of a recent survey [PDF file] of 1,805 adults by UK regulator Ofcom, 55 percent of adult Internet users say they use the same password for most, if not all, Web sites (h/t Sophos)

Twenty-six percent of respondents say they tend to use easy-to-remember passwords like birthdates or names, and 25 percent say they have trouble remembering passwords.

Still, some aspects of security are improving. Sixty-two percent of respondents say they encrypt their Wi-Fi connection, up from 52 percent in 2011, and 61 percent say they check for padlock symbols or secure system messages before entering personal information, up from 56 percent in 2011.

The research also found that social networking is gaining in popularity, with 35 percent of users aged 55 to 64 saying they have a social networking profile, up from 24 percent in 2011.

Fifty percent of adults check their social networking profiles more than once a day, up from 35 percent in 2011, and 9 percent of adults check their profiles more than 10 times a day.

"While our research shows that some people are still taking security risks online, they clearly feel these are outweighed by the benefits that the Internet brings," Ofcom director of research James Thickett said in a statement. "We are seeing more and more adults turning to the Internet for information and as a way of keeping in touch."