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Less than half of UK consumers regularly change their passwords to prevent fraud.

New research from Callcredit Information Group found that only two-thirds of consumers have a password that is considered highly secure – a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Three thousand UK-based consumers participated in the survey.

John Cannon, fraud & ID director at Callcredit Information Group, said in a statement: “Despite a significant rise in online fraud, and concern around sharing personal information, consumers don't appear to be adequately protecting themselves against cyber-crime. Simple techniques, such as regularly changing passwords, aren't being implemented by a significant proportion of consumers.

Most respondents (66 percent) perceive the risk of identity theft and online fraud as one of their biggest concerns around sharing personal information online.

Just over half (51 percent) have downloaded anti-malware security software and 38 percent set browser privacy settings.

However, only 41 percent check the authenticity of an organisation before completing an online purchase.

Some popular steps that consumers are taking to protect themselves against fraud include changing social media privacy settings (34 percent), downloading an ad blocker (33 percent) and intentionally sharing fake details with organisations (18 percent).

Other simple steps that consumers can take to protect themselves, their identity and personal information safe online are to never use a password more than once, check to see if the website being used is genuine, check your credit report and make use of two-factor authentication.

“It is crucial that businesses not only monitor for fraud, but educate consumers about existing risks and fraud prevention tactics,” Cannon continued.