Do you use your pet’s name as your password?

Security experts urge people to change their login to three random words

15% of people use pet names as their passwords according to a recent survey by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

While Milo, Buddy or Buster might be easy to remember, they’re also easy for online criminals to guess. Alongside pet names, family members’ names, dates and sports teams were also top of the password charts. The trouble is, with a bit quick research on your social media profiles or website, criminals might be able to work out what you’re likely to choose for your login credentials.

The NCSC is urging people to change their passwords to something less predictable: ideally three random words.

We’ve previously shared guidance on our NEBRC blog about improving the strength of your passwords with insight from cyber experts, IASME.

Not only is this important for protecting your private information, but it could prevent you or your employer from becoming the victim of a ransomware attack. This is where criminals take control of your account and demand money in exchange for releasing it.

Like many people, you might be worried about remembering anything more complicated than Leo or Coco. The good news is, it’s ok to save your passwords in your browser so that they’re there when you want to log in again next time.

To be even more secure, you can use an encrypted password manager- a piece of software which stores all your logins safely, so you don’t need to remember the individual details.

Check our previous articles for more hints and tips

To find out more about the NCSC’s password survey, see their blog.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) are working together to support the establishment of Regional Cyber Resilience Centres (CRCs). The CRCs represent a significant opportunity for the NCSC to expand the reach of its guidance and services to smaller organisations across the country, and provide an extra level of practical support to enhance their impact. The NCSC is currently assisting the NPCC in determining the suite of cyber security services that the CRCs will be able to offer.