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24 Aug 2017

Our guide to safe passwords

Throughout 2017, cybercrime has risen significantly with several stories hitting the headlines; the latest being the cyberattack on the Scottish parliament. But just because we only hear of attacks happening to the well-known, that doesn’t mean it won’t happen to you.

The understanding of what goes on inside a cyber criminal’s mind is still a mystery. Some attacks are carried out for fun, but then others are on a more serious level to steal data…

This could be as severe as wanting to steal your identity. It’s important we take the best possible action to prevent hackers from accessing our accounts, by creating strong passwords.

Adults, parents, carers and teachers should also understand the importance of a strong password when teaching children how to create them. Passwords have been known to involve the simplest combinations such as ‘qwerty123’.

These passwords are easy for hackers to crack. Other passwords that should be avoided are ones that include birthdates and names, as these are easy for someone to guess.

Using the same password across all accounts is also dangerous, because once they’ve gained access to one account they can then access the others. A strong password would include capital letters, numbers and symbols.

If you are worried you would forget a password as complex as this, then try associating it to something relevant.

For example, ‘Ihla33brsIw10.’ would be considered a strong password and this would translate to ‘I have lived at 33 Benton Road since I was 10.’ It’s highly unlikely anyone would guess this and you can create the sentence to your own choice.

Two-factor step verification

Some applications such as Instagram and Gmail have launched two-step verification. This involves logging on with your password and a code which is sent via text to your mobile at the time of logging on. You should use this wherever possible as it is an added security measure to keep your account safe.

Do’s and Don’ts guide for creating safe passwords

Your password is like the key to your front door, you wouldn’t want anyone entering your home without permission, the same rule should apply to your online accounts.

Keep all your accounts secure, and if you suspect your account has been hacked, change your password immediately.

Depending on the severity you may also want to consider changing your email address.

If you have fallen victim of identity theft, then report it immediately to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre.

For help on enforcing secure passwords in your organisation, and advice on the best security solutions, contact us today.

Further Reading
16 Aug 2018

The Phishing Phenomenon

By Christopher Smith Read More
Smoothwall's Women in Tech Series: Adele Bannister
06 Aug 2018

Smoothwall's Women in Tech Series: Adele Bannister

By Daniela Lackhoff Read More
Keep your child safe online over the summer holidays
25 Jul 2018

Keep your child safe online over the summer holidays

By Lauren Atkinson Read More