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Only 35% of Britons following Government’s latest password advice

October 26th 2016

Government urges Britons to #ThinkRandom to protect themselves from identity fraud

For information and advice on safe use of your passwords, click here

The latest government statistics from Ipsos MORI show that only 35% of Britons are following Government’s latest advice to use strong passwords made up of three random words.* It is, according to National Cyber Security Centre, a part of GCHQ, one the most important actions people can take to protect themselves from cybercrime.

Cybercrime is a growing national issue, according to ONS figures an estimated 2 million cybercrime offences were committed last year.** A weak password can allow hackers to use email to gain access to all personal accounts, leaving individuals vulnerable to identity theft or fraud.

The Government’s cyber security campaign, Cyber Aware, is urging people and businesses across the UK to #ThinkRandom when it comes to creating strong passwords.

A spokesperson from the National Cyber Security Centre said, “Our research shows that the best way to make a password memorable and strong is to use three random words. It doesn't matter what inspires you - from watching sport to going out for a bite to eat, thinking random is the best way to keep yourself secure online. Your most important accounts are your email, social media and online banking accounts, so it’s important to use strong, separate passwords for each of these”.

With 27% of people saying they have shared their passwords with other people, Cyber Aware is also reminding people to keep their passwords secret.

Security Minister, Ben Wallace said “Tackling cybercrime not only requires a concerted response from law enforcement and Government but also vigilance from members of the public. While the Government will invest £1.9 billion in cyber security over the next years, we can all make a difference and protect ourselves from cyber crime by taking some very simple steps, such as using three random words to create a strong password”.

Lynn Farrar, Chair of Neighbourhood Watch said, “It’s increasingly important to protect yourself against cybercrime. We are all at risk and we're keen to encourage as many people as possible to #ThinkRandom and use strong passwords made up of three random words. It’s such an easy way to protect yourself, your family and your community, against hackers who are looking to steal your identity and commit cybercrimes".

Danny Lawrence, National Police Chiefs’ Council PROTECT Co-ordinator for Cyber Crime said, “The majority of people do not realise how important something as simple as a strong password can be, particularly for email accounts which are the gateway to all your personal accounts. Being a victim of a cybercrime will affect your life in a very real way and small actions like the Cyber Aware campaign is suggesting can make a big difference to protecting yourself online".

The Cyber Aware campaign (formerly Cyber Streetwise) is funded by the National Cyber Security Programme (NCSP) and was launched in 2014 with the objective of providing individuals and small businesses with the knowledge to take control of their cyber security and help protect themselves from cyber criminals.

Cybercrime is a serious threat to the UK and the Government is taking action to increase public awareness of the risk. The Government will invest £1.9 billion to significantly transform the UK’s cyber security. NCSP will support the aims of the 2016 National Cyber Security Strategy over the next five years and reflects the importance the Government places on robust cyber security for the UK. The NCSC, which began its first day of operations on Monday 3 October, incorporates CESG, CERT-UK, the Centre for Cyber Assessment (CCA) and cyber-related aspects of the Centre for Protecting National Infrastructure (CPNI).In addition to providing guidance, the NCSC will actively protect the UK from a range of cyber threats and will coordinate responses to cyber security incidents.


*Two waves of online surveys were conducted with members of Ipsos MORI’s online panel.  The pre-wave was based on 2,605 respondents from the Ipsos MORI online panel and took place between 27th August and 8th September 2015. The post-wave was based on 2,016 respondents from the Ipsos MORI online panel and took place between 10th February and 21st February 2016.  Data for both waves were weighted by region, age, gender and social grade according to the national online profile.

**The Crime Survey for England and Wales shows there were an estimated 2 million cybercrime offences committed in the year to June 2016. Cybercrime includes all computer misuse offences, such as hacking, viruses and DDOS offences. However, these are experimental statistics, and not part of the headline crime count, as they are based on interviews with a half-sample of respondents conducted between October 2015 and June 2016, but have been grossed up to provide an estimate for the full year.


By Get Safe Online