Using the same password and ID at multiple sites increases the risk of being victimized by online fraud, and it's a common consumer habit.
That's according to Trusteer, a customer protection company for online businesses, which said it believes about three-fourths of users share passwords they use for online banking with at least one non-financial Web site and 47% share both user name and password.
New York-based Trusteer based its conclusions on data collected during a year of Internet browsing by more than four million users of its Rapport browser security service, including many of whom are customers of large North American and European banks.
Re-using banking user names and passwords at less-secure Web mail and social networking sites allow criminals to acquire personal information they then test on financial services Web sites, the company said.
Trusteer recommended that financial institutions educate consumers about the risk and that consumers themselves maintain at least three sets of credentials-for financial Web sites, non-financial Web sites that hold identifying information, and non-sensitive Web sites that do not keep confidential information about the user.