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How secure are your passwords?

With the onset of the new data protection law (GDPR), now is a great time to review your website passwords and ensure they are as secure as possible.

Believe it or not, the vast majority of passwords are vulnerable to hackers. Most people use very similar passwords such as family member's names, date of births, '!' '?', or even obvious ones such as 'Pa55word!' 

So what can you do to make your password more secure?

Having a long complex password which you change regularly greatly improves your security. Don't try and create a password yourself but rather use a password generator. These are a great method of generating a random secure password for each login profile you create.

If you worry you won't be able to remember all of these passwords then we strongly recommend using a password manager tool such as Last Pass (https://www.lastpass.com)

Another tip to increase your online security is to reduce your online presence by deleting old accounts you no longer use. Do you still have a MySpace account which hasn’t been visited for months/years? Remember this is a database containing your information, and if you never use the site then you’re unlikely to know that it has been breached.

Additionally, having the same password for everything is never a safe option - if one profile is compromised, it’s only a matter of time before the more important ones are accessed and information is stolen. Different passwords for each site will make it more difficult for cyber criminals to access more of your personal information.

Here are our top 10 tips for password safety:

  • Use a mix of upper and lower case characters, numbers, and symbols such as: f9£*Ks29
  • The longer the better - a phrase would be best, such as: IL0v3mAnCh35t3rUn1t3dFC
  • Change your password regularly
  • Don’t use dictionary words or obvious passwords such as: password123, 1234, yourname123
  • Don’t use dates of birth, initials, names or anything that would be easy to guess from a social media profile such as: John1975
  • Only keep profiles for sites that you are actively using
  • Don't save your password in your web browser
  • Don't write down your passwords
  • Use good anti-virus software on your computers and make sure it's regularly updated
  • Don't click on suspicious emails or email links/attachments
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