Date Posted: 04-05-2017
Every year we celebrate national holidays, one of which being World Password Day. Passwords hold the key to our digital lives so keeping track of these and making sure they are secure is essential. Identity fraud reached its highest levels in 2016 with almost 173,000 reported incidents, 9/10 of which were committed online. Through the use of hacking social accounts or servers, these cyber criminals can gain access to a wealth of personal information with which they can then use to access bank accounts, sign up for websites under your name or even applied for a passport.
To prevent this happening to you it is wise to make sure your passwords are strong and complex, as well as regularly changing them. Do not use one password for everything. Universal passwords can lead to more serious issues if data is leaked as the hacker will have access to every online account you use.
Don’t forget that nowadays anyone’s personal information is only an online search away, pets names, nicknames or anything you could have posted about enjoying will become an easy target for hackers if used as your password.
Simple keyboard patterns such as ‘qwerty’ and ‘123456’ as just as insecure as leaving your password as ‘password’ or ‘welcome’ as they are easily guessable. It is always better to use a long complex password that only you know. Try to include numbers, lower and upper case letters and symbols in the password as there are infinite combinations on the keyboard which would take too long to crack.
Using password manager websites and apps can be beneficial in keeping your online life secure. There are a wide range of password manager options from free solutions to paid for subscriptions but all of which are virtually un-hackable. The password for the account will be an auto-generated random combination of numbers and letters, again meaning trying to figure it out would be too complicated. The password managers don’t even have access to your encrypted data, the master password is not stored anywhere on your computer or on their servers. Most password managers also require the login to be from an approved device so that you can be sure no one is accessing it from somewhere else.
So make sure this World Password Day you are doing everything you can to keep your personal information protected and secure in order to prevent becoming the target of identity fraud. To keep any confidential and important physical documents secure we would recommend the use of a safe deposit box. This way you are assured all data containing private information is protected.