Online Security Are You Playing Your Part?

Is online security only up to internet suppliers?

Just how secure are your online accounts? We all have them for banks, insurance, utilities, government services not to mention social media accounts but are you concerned for your online safety?

Cyber security is in the news on an increasingly frequent basis and the finger is often pointed at security breaches in device operating systems on phones and computers and at the systems of the institutions such as governments, banks and social media platforms. When any of these are breached we throw our hands up in horror and complain long and loud that the big players just aren’t doing enough to protect our online identity.

Yes, of course we should keep these guys accountable but should we be abrogating the
responsibility back to them and washing our hands of any personal responsibility? The answer is no but unfortunately too many of us are doing just that.

What can you do to improve your chances of staying safe on the Internet?

What can you do? Look at the password you have set for your online accounts to see if they are strong enough to deter hackers.

There are plenty of bad guys out there crawling the Net looking for weak passwords and they are easily found because too many of us are not aware or maybe we are a little lazy.

You wont believe some of these passwords.

Currently the most common password is 123456 and the second most common one is password. Really? Yes really. Hard to believe isn’t it. And there are plenty of others such as letmein and iloveyou and football. And don’t think you can fool the hackers by adding the odd capital or number in front of or behind these common phrases because they are onto that too.

The bad guys run automatic scripts running through all the possibilities for the most common passwords and it doesn’t take them much to have success.

So what makes a good password?

Best practice recommends choosing a phrase which is significant to you but not in common usage or from pop culture. Have a minimum of 12 characters with some uppercase and some lower case throw in some numbers and add a special character such as % or $. To be extra careful have a different password for each account and change them regularly.

By doing this will you be guaranteed of never being hacked, well, no but at least you are giving yourself the best possible chance.

Remembering multiple passwords is just too hard.

It is possible you may not remember all of your passwords so where do you record them? Not written down and ‘hidden’ somewhere and not in a document on your computer but rather use a password manager as these are most secure. More on this in a future blog post.

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