The UK has become a hotspot for scamming and hacking over the last few years.
According to a new survey by USwitch, Brits admit to the following password fails:
- 25.3% write their passwords down on paper
- 30% of people use their birth year
- 39% use a pet’s name as part of their password
So really, it’s no surprise that 1 in 5 people (22%) have had their data compromised! As a Cyber Essentials and ISO 27001 accredited company, we do know a thing or two about passwords.
Many people wouldn’t see an issue with using a birth year or pets name as part of your password. But the key issue this comes back to is social media! Common culprits include quizzes, which sometimes require you to input such information to find out ‘What kind of vegetable you are’. Therefore, the most secure passwords avoid the use of ANY personal identifying information – as this info will likely be the first thing hackers try – even more so if you have willingly given this information away on social media sites!
Below are some simple safety and security tips around passwords to help keep accounts secure:
- Spell out a memorable phrase using a mix of numbers, symbols, and acronyms: Example: T3rRy550c1alMed!Ac1234 (Terrys Social Media Account)
- You can do the above to customise your password for each site.
- Use your keyboard as a canvas to draw or write something memorable to you.
- Make it as long as you can and use lowercase, uppercase, numbers, and symbols in every password.
- Change your password regularly! I’d recommend every 3 months at minimum.
- Don’t write your password down. Not on paper, not in an email, not anywhere!
- Don’t reuse passwords across accounts.
- Avoid using loved ones or pets’ names, or your birthday.
- Avoid using memorable keyboard paths. Example: 123456, qwerty.
- Don’t tell anyone your password.
It’s obvious that people are still making simple mistakes when it comes to choosing a password. As most of our lives are now stored online, having a strong password is the first line of defence against hackers. Many people revert to using the same one on repeat, which leads to poor password strength, and a free pass to all of your logins and information to any potential hackers!