We’re all guilty of putting in the easiest possible password when we need a new login.
The problem is something simple is often something predictable, which criminals could soon guess.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has shared a list of most-used passwords that have been hacked by criminals last year: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/news/most-hacked-passwords-revealed-as-uk-cyber-survey-exposes-gaps-in-online-security
At the top of the list are names, football clubs and the classic “123456”.
You shall not “pass1234”
The danger of using predictable passwords is that criminals could log in to your accounts, potentially steal your personal details including your credit card credentials and even hold your devices hostage.
For this reason, passwords are something we should all take seriously. Luckily, strengthening them is easy and quick to do.
“I love you” are not the three little words you want criminals to hear
The Government’s Cyber Aware campaign recommends that strong passwords are made up of three random words. So rather than “I love you”, you might use “pineapple boot pyramid”. In this way, your password will be memorable, but only to you!
Could someone guess your “1password”?
If you’re using the same password for your email as some of your other accounts, it’s probably time to change it.
If a criminal guessed your Amazon or Netflix password for example, and then tried it with your email account, they could reset all of your account passwords and you may not be able to access any of them.
The Government’s Cyber Aware campaign recommends keeping your email password entirely separate from other profiles.
How easily could a fraudster log into your “Facebook789”?
Think about the amount of personal information that you keep in your social media messages. Conversations with friends about where you live, what you do with your time and even which bank account you have could help criminals built up a pretty accurate picture of you that could be used for identity fraud.
As mentioned, use three random words, and make sure they are different for each account.
If you’re struggling to remember all your different passwords, save them in your browser, keep them in an encrypted password app or even write them down on paper. Making sure they vary is more important nowadays than avoiding recording them elsewhere.
For more handy tips on keeping your business safe, visit the Cyber Aware page: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/cyberaware/home
If you’d like help with figuring out where you need to improve your security or how to strengthen what you’ve already got in place, please email email@example.com
Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook for more password pointers this month.