A growing number of people in Britain are struggling to remember their passwords, a new report shows.

The average person has 22 online accounts each and more than one in six have over 40 such accounts to keep track of, the report the Payment Council, which represents banks, says.

Some 75% of people use the same password for more than one account and more than a third admit to having shared their personal details with family and friends.

Almost a third (29%) say they never bother changing their password.

The council warns consumer should steer clear of using the same password, or even a variation of it, more than once, to restrict the damage if someone gets hold of it.

People are also advised to avoid birthdays, names and common words, and be creative. For example, string together words from a phrase or song lyric.

Memory expert Dominic O'Brien suggests people create their own coded story.

He explains: "Take the password 8:30121hP99. Imagine it's 8.30 in the morning and you're having a one-2-one meeting with little Harry Potter who's holding 99 red balloons."

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