One in Six Americans Stores Passwords and PINs in Wallets, Mobiles and PCs

Some 15 percent of US consumers keep written records of passwords and PINs in their wallets, mobile devices or computers, according to a study by ProtectMyID.

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Almost half of respondents said they are taking more security precautions this year to prevent identity theft, yet the survey found they hesitate in taking simple measures to enhance their security.

More than half do not check for an icon of a lock to see if a website is secure or uses HTTPS connections, half do not password-protect their smartphones, and some 55 percent do not close the Web browser when they are finished using an online account to prevent hacks, as Inc. notes.

Nearly 70 percent of respondents said they worry about their security while using public Wi-Fi or any type of online account. Three-quarters of respondents said they fear identity theft when using personal banking sites, and about two-thirds said they have that fear it while shopping online.

Their concerns are confirmed by security specialists, who expect an increase in mobile payment data breaches over the next 12 months. Only 23% of security specialists believe mobile payments keep personal information safe, the study shows. Nearly half (47%) say mobile payments are not secure and 89% consider cash the most secure payment method, yet only 9% prefer to use it. According to those surveyed, the most effective way to better secure mobile payments is to use a second identity authentication (66%), followed by requiring a short-term authentication code (18%). Far less popular was an option that puts the onus on the consumer installing phone-based security apps (9%).

The study by Experian surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. adults.

Previously, some 94 percent of US consumers said retailers should also improve security systems to protect financial information, and 70 percent say retailers should install EMV chip-enabled card readers as soon as possible, according to a survey by the American Bankers Association, cited by HOTforSecurity.

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