One of your new year’s resolutions should be updating ALL of your passwords and account security. With cybercrime on the rise, we all need to be more vigilant and make that extra effort to lock down and control our login details to keep accounts safe and in the rightful owner’s hands. No matter what it is. I have tried to cover all angles here for users to take on board.
- Don’t use names, birth dates or other easy to find information. Just ask yourself “how much do I have visible on social media?” more than you realise.
- The 8 + 4 rule. Using eight characters with one upper and lower case, a number and a special character will make a strong password. Spread the “4” out in the password.
- Avoid using dictionary words. There are many tools out there that in early stage of cracking uses dictionary method so that can make it quicker to reveal your password
- Multifactor authentication if possible. Eg. Sms or alternate email for additional login code.
- Password managers can make life easier if you have trouble remembering all your account details. But remember, make the master password extra strong as if this is compromised will obviously give them access to everything you own. And use the more reputable known tools like LastPass, KeePass, Dashlane to name a few.
- Different password for each site. Imagine you use email with password then sign up for “X” amount of online accounts with that same email account as login and same password. If one of them is compromised, then your email account is an easy target making it very easy to take over all you have ever signed up to.
- Split up with your partner? I have had the pleasure of unlocking client’s computers and accounts that their Ex had locked out.
- DO NOT save passwords in your web browser when it asks. Yes, they offer this for ease of use. That Is just saving the login details (username & password) in an easy to find place for the bad guys. I have had plenty of clients bring their computer in for assessment after scammers remotely connected to it. Not surprisingly I had to show them the great list of login details stored in each of the web browsers including bank details.
- NEVER use the same password as any other account, especially for your online bank accounts.
- Always lock your computer and phones. Set to auto lock after a short period of inactivity for those times you get interrupted.
- Concerned one of your accounts has been compromised. Check if you have an account that has been compromised in a data breach. https://haveibeenpwned.com/
We all think it will never happen to me. It’ll be fine. Just remember what is in these accounts that you have and how much work it will take to get it back if you lost it or got locked out of it.
Happy New Year 2018