The figures revealed that 75 percent of Britons admit that they do not follow best practice by using complex passwords, with almost half (47 percent) relying on unsafe password habits such as pet names or significant dates.
To add to this insecurity, over a third (35 percent) admitted that they do not create strong passwords because they struggle to remember them and this could increasingly become an issue with 82 percent of people saying that they are managing more online accounts than a year ago.
According to the Cyber Streetwise figures, the average Briton now uses 19 passwords on a regular basis.
The government is subsequently advising users to use three words or more and add a symbol in their password to make it more secure. It also says that Britons should consider using acronyms, ‘narrative methods' (the idea of composing a story-like password) and the Loci method, which uses visualisation to organise and recall information.
In a statement released at the same time as the figures, Karen Bradley, modern slavery and organised crime minister, said that poor passwords can result in financial – and emotional – damage to citizens.
“When passwords are compromised, financial and banking details can be stolen, causing problems for the person affected, for businesses and for the economy. There is an emotional impact caused by the loss of irreplaceable photos, videos and personal emails, but even worse, these can be seized to extort money.