Do you have excessive numbers of online accounts?  User ID and passwords have long been the main method to keep things secure.  It can be really difficult to keep on top of which password is for which account, and the method to reset your password should you forget, is really painful.  Password security is becoming ever more important in today’s digital world as not only do we have multiple accounts that need account details but also also hackers can use sophisticated password cracking algorithms to use our identities to purchase goods and services on our behalf.

In addition to individuals being targeted, there seems to be another weekly announcement of yet another data security breach from large corporations, all of which hold your and my data for their business purposes.  A couple of recent examples of large corporation data breaches are Yahoo, Tesco Bank, Morrisons, Three, Moon Pig and Mums Net – all of which store sensitive data and log in details about their clients.

So how do you keep on top of this?  How do you try to protect against people hacking into your accounts or being the subject of a data breach?  There seem to be two main challenges: What methods can you use keep your passwords safe and to remember them? And how do you create memorable but difficult to hack passwords. Read on to discover some useful hints and tips:

Tools to help keep your passwords safe:

  • There are a number of external website that you can subscribe to that help you remember and store your passwords, key players seem to be: Last Pass, Bomgar, 1Password, or Dashlane.  Which one is right for you is down to some research, use well known ones that have certification, check reviews and maybe put non-financial accounts first.
  • You could try to have a password protected Excel spreadsheet on your laptop.
  • If you use a Mac then you could save your passwords to the key chain or in the laptop itself, the concern with this is always, what happens if the laptop gets stolen so maybe encrypt your laptop which you should have done before.
  • Look at your anti-virus (AV) software to see if it has a password vault included, Kaspersky does but there are other AV vendors with this feature and it is already in the license cost.

Top tips for successful password security:

  1. Use different passwords for different accounts.
  2. Passwords should Ideally 8- 16 characters in length.
  3. Use a combination of capital letters, lower case letters, symbols and numbers in your password, the more difficult it is, the harder to guess
  4. Use a word or phrase and then convert it to a mix of numbers eg: for your Amazon password “I Need To Stop Buying 100s Of Gadgets” could be translated as “INTSB100og!”
  5. Always log off from your devices.
  6. Don’t let anyone see you type in your password.
  7. Don’t share your passwords with anyone.
  8. Don’t type in passwords in remote locations eg: internet cafes, Wifi, etc.
  9. Check out the strength of your password on password checkers such as Passwordmeter.
  10. Change your passwords regularly, corporations generally suggest you should change them every 90-180 days.

A lot to think about on top of just doing what we do everyday.  So stay safe, seek the assistance of an online tool or if you would like a more detailed assessment of your data security risk please get in touch  to arrange your FREE 60-minute consultation.

Stay safe!



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