Is your password leaving you vulnerable?
The importance of your password
We live in the online era; you can shop, talk with friends, share pictures, share your innermost thoughts, do your banking and so much more on the internet. The World Wide Web has revolutionalised the way that we go about our day-to-day. However, it has also changed the landscape of crime and we are seeing a definite increase in cyber crime and hacking. One of the most prevalent cyber crimes that we hear of is fraud but there is one small thing that you can do to protect yourself and that is to change your passwords.
Passwords are used for almost everything we do on the internet. It is a safety precaution that endeavors to protect our private information, however, if you aren’t using a strong password it is very easy for a hacker to decipher your passwords and gain access to your information.
We have all been there, sat at your computer trying to think of a password that you can remember for a new account. You’re looking around the room for anything memorable. Maybe your cat Fudge happens to walk by, “Ahh yes,” you think “Fudge14 is a great password”. However, whilst Fudge14 or password42 seem like great, memorable options they are not safe. If you choose a password such as this you are leaving yourself very vulnerable, not only to sneaky loved ones but also internet baddies.
The first tool in a hackers belt is research and guess work which is why you should never use names of friends, family or animals, birthdays, phone numbers or anything like that. Futhermore, hackers have particular illegal tools that can crack one word normative passwords such as ‘Fudge’ in a matter of moments.
Rules for a good password
- 8 or more characters long.
- Combination of lower and upper case letters, numbers, punctuation and symbols.
- No standard dictionary words
- Try using a word or phrase which is memorable to you but mix it up a bit:
Newforest becomes n3w!f0r35T
- Use the first letter of the words in a memorable phrase:
Humpty Dumpty Sat On The Wall, Humpty Dumpty Had A Great Fall becomes hdsotwhdhagf and if you want to make it even safer add in some variation 1hDs0tw&HdhaGf!
- Do not use the same password for all of your accounts. It is very tempting but then if one of your accounts is hacked then the rest can be too.