A staggering 90 percent of respondents to a PC Advisor poll admit that they don't regularly change their online password.

When asked to respond to the statement 'I change my various online passwords', 25.8 percent said they make changes 'when I remember', and 64 percent admitted that they would change their password only if prompted. Get the full poll results here.

Just 30 (3.5 percent) of the 866 respondents to PC Advisor's September 2008 poll claimed that they change passwords daily. Two percent said they update pass phrases each week, and a further 4.8 percent of respondents update their passwords on a monthly basis.

In the e-commerce era, maintaining strong online passwords has become hugely important. Cybercriminals hunt for unencrypted Wi-Fi connections and use sophisticated keylogging malware to harvest valuable personal data, including passwords.

But recent research suggests that 60 percent of PC users are prepared to divulge their PC's password to a complete stranger (see '120 idiots give up password for £5 M&S voucher'). And 45 percent of respondents to a Symantec study used either their birthday, mother's maiden name or the name of their pet as a password.

See also:

The 5 best portable password tools

Users are advised to come up with difficult to guess passwords combining letters and numerals, to use different passwords for different sites and services, and to regularly change their passwords.

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