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Brits Protect Facebook Passwords Over Banking PINs

London (15th Oct 2012) - Brits take more care to protect their social network profiles and passwords than they do with their banking and credit card details, according to a new study.

Staples research reveals a third of Brits (33%) are guilty of leaving their bankcards or statements open on a shared network at work, lying on the desk or loose in the bin without being destroyed or shredded.

In comparison, the poll of 1,000 people revealed that only 1 in 10 would ever leave their Facebook page open on a shared network, or display details such as address or date of birth on their page.

And when it comes to passwords, a fifth (18%) of people said they never cover the PIN pad when withdrawing money and a tenth (9%) regularly share their PINs with friends and colleagues so they can withdraw cash or buy items on their behalf. However, just 1 in 20 would ever give away their Facebook password or the code to their mobile phone.

Weekday lunchtimes are a key time for British workers to let their guard down, with 13% admitting to freely giving out their bankcards and PINs to colleagues in order to grab a sandwich.

Amee Chande, MD of Staples, said: "While it's nice to feel comfortable with one's colleagues, sharing bankcards and PIN numbers with others can lead to problems. Not only does that potentially expose someone to identity fraud, but also runs the risk of not being covered by your bank insurance if a card or money does go missing.

"In support of National Identity Fraud Week during the week of 15 - 22 October it's important to remember the importance of taking care to protect personal information."

Only a third (36%) of Brits admitted to keeping personal details such as PINs and passwords private, with the average person sharing information with at least one other, but 1 in 10 (13%) sharing with three or more individuals.

And Brits are facing the same security issues online, with only a third using different passwords for their online accounts, and more than 7 in 10 only changing their passwords every 12 months or more. In fact, 1 in 5 said they never change their passwords at all.

Chande continued: "While the majority of us are aware of the danger of online fraud, it appears that that people often don't take steps day-to-day to help prevent it. Utilising services such as Staples' free internet security offer when buying a shredder worth more than £50 can help, as can steps like checking a website's internet security badge before buying goods."

When it comes to worrying about lost or stolen items, mobiles such as iPhones came top of the agenda with 19% admitting they would be most concerned about these more than any other. Passports and bank cards were valued highest by 16% of respondents, while a birth certificate or driving licence came bottom of the list - 4% and 2% respectively.

- ENDS -

For more information please contact Oonagh Spence at Havas PR UK
0161 234 9779 or [email protected]

Notes to editors
Staples is the world's largest office products company and second largest e-commerce company. The research was conducted by 72 Point on 1,000 respondents in September 2012.

About Staples
Staples is the world's largest office products company and a trusted source for office solutions. The company provides products, services, and expertise in office supplies, copy & print, technology, facilities and breakroom, and furniture. Staples invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and now has annual sales of $25 billion, ranking second in the world in eCommerce sales. With 88,000 associates worldwide, Staples operates in 26 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, making it easy for businesses of all sizes, and consumers. The company is headquartered outside Boston. More information about Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) is available at www.staples.com/media

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