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World Password Day

Posted: 05th May 2017 in Security News

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A strong password is your first layer of defence. With this in place, you’re ready to add a layer of protection. With today being World Password Day, we’re put together some hints and tips to keep your online accounts safe and secure.

  • Choose a password with 8 or more characters and use a mixture of uppercase letters, lowercase numbers, numbers and symbols: The longer the better. Longer passwords are harder for thieves to crack. Consider using a $ instead of an S or a 1 instead of an L, or including an & or % – but note that $1ngle is NOT a good password. Password thieves are onto this. But Mf$J1ravng (short for “My friend Sam Jones is really a very nice guy) is an excellent password.

  • Don’t use passwords that can easily be found online such as your date of birth, Name or other personal informatio
  • Use different passwords for every online account: It’s possible that someone working at a site where you use that password could pass it on or use it to break into your accounts at other sites.

  • Update your passwords regularly

  • Don’t share your passwords with anyone: Never give it to friends, even if they’re really good friends. A friend can – maybe even accidentally – pass your password along to others or even become an ex-friend and abuse it.

  • Memorise your passwords, don’t be tempted to write them down: This might seem obvious but studies have found that a lot of people post their password on their monitor with a sticky note. Bad idea. If you must write it down, hide the note somewhere where no one can find it.

  • Keep your password retrieval options up to date

  • Consider using a password generator to construct passwords from a sentence

  • Use passwords that are easy to remember but hard for others to guess: When possible, use a phrase such as “I started 7th grade at Lincoln Middle School in 2010” and use the initial of each word like this: “Is7gaLMSi#2010.” And make them at least a little different (by adding a couple of unique letters) for each site. On some sites, you might even be able to type in the entire phrase.
  • Don’t use dictionary words.  If it’s in the dictionary, there is a chance someone will guess it. There’s even software that criminals use that can guess words used in dictionaries.

  • Consider using a password manager. Programs or web services like RoboForm (Windows only) or Lastpass (Windows and Mac) let you create a different very strong password for each of your sites. But you only have to remember the one password to access the program or secure site that stores your passwords for you.

  • Make sure your devices are secure. The best password in the world might not do you any good if someone is looking over your shoulder while you type or if you forget to log out on a cybercafe computer. Malicious software, including “keyboard loggers” that record all of your keystrokes, has been used to steal passwords and other information. To increase security, make sure you’re using up-to-date anti-malware software and that your operating system is up-to-date.

  • Use a “password” or fingerprints for your phone too. Most phones can be locked so that the only way to use them is to type in a code, typically a string of numbers or maybe a pattern you draw on the screen. Some new phones allow you to register fingerprints, which are quite secure. Sometimes when people with bad intentions find unlocked phones, they use them to steal the owners’ information, make a lot of calls, or send texts that look like they’re coming from the owner. Someone posing as you could send texts that make it look like you’re bullying or harassing someone in your address book with inappropriate images or words.

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