Cyber-attacks are on the rise! With more and more people working from home, cybercrimes are increasing too, going from 12% pre-lockdown to more than 60% (according to cybersecurity company Darktrace), simply because individuals are having to navigate their way through unfamiliar systems.
Passwords are a crucial element in securing the safety of our online data and are fairly easy for us to implement.
The average number of passwords has in fact increased in the last year, as more of us seek out new entertainment and services online.
And yet, 66% of people online use only one or two passwords for all their accounts – some of which have up to 100 accounts requiring a username and password. 6% of us still use the word “password” as all or part of their security word and because we’re creatures of habit following similar patterns, this makes it even easier for the cybercriminal to hack our accounts.
And with so many passwords to remember, it’s not surprising that we choose what appears to be the easier option of reusing them for all accounts.
How can someone access my password?
This can be achieved through various means – phishing, or by using simple password formulas e.g., women like to use personal names and men use their hobbies, making it an easy process for criminals to guess. Reusing the same password across different accounts can also be dangerous. A cybercriminal might steal one of your passwords, and then use it to try and access other accounts.
So, what should I do?
Use a strong and separate password for your email. If a hacker gets into your email, they could reset your other account passwords and access information you have saved about yourself or your business. Your email password should be strong and different to all your other ones.
Create strong passwords using three random words - when you use different passwords for your important accounts, it can be hard to remember them all.
Consider using a password manager – a program that allows you to store, generate, and manage your passwords.
Do not use words that can be guessed (like your pet’s name). You can include numbers and symbols if you need to. For example, “RedPantsTree4!”
Saving your passwords in your web browser will help you manage them and can protect you against some cybercrime, such as fake websites. I avoid doing this as what happens if your laptop is stolen!?
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