The vast majority of online banking customers reuse their login credentials to access non-financial and much less secure websites. Trusteer found that 73 percent of bank customers use their online account password to access other websites, and that 47 percent use both their online banking user ID and password to login elsewhere on the Internet.
These findings are based on a sample of more than 4 million users of the Rapport browser security service, many of whom are customers of leading North American and European banks.
This widespread reuse of online banking credentials is being exploited by criminals who have devised various methods to harvest login credentials from less secure sources, such as webmail and social network websites. Once acquired, these usernames and passwords are tested on financial services sites to commit fraud.
The report’s key findings include:
- 73% of users share the passwords which they use for online banking, with at least one nonfinancial website
- 47% of users share both their user ID and password with at least one nonfinancial website
- When a bank allows users to choose their own user ID, 65% of users share this ID with nonfinancial websites
- When a bank chooses the user ID for its customers, 42% use the bank issued user ID with at least one other website.
“Using stolen credentials remains the easiest way for criminals to bypass the security measures implemented by banks to protect their online applications, so we wanted to see how often users repurpose their financial service usernames and passwords,” said Amit Klein, CTO of Trusteer and head of the company’s research organization. “Our findings were very surprising, and reveal that consumers are not aware, or are choosing to ignore, the security implications of reusing their banking credentials on multiple websites.”