Let's face the facts, hacking happens and it really could be your turn next. The shocking truth is that your email or bank account might be more at risk than you think and unauthorised access can result in the theft of information, contacts, account numbers, and your identity. Which will cost you big, financially. Occasionally you should be asking yourself: how safe is my password?Think about it, even if you are careful with your details, do you really trust your ex not to take a quick peek at your emails? Can they guess your password? Be honest, you've never tried to break theirs?
And if they can, how exposed do you feel at the hands of the professionals who will either use a 'brute force' strategy to hack user's accounts or there might be a data breach and your account is amongst those hacked.
To protect yourself, here is a basic guide for securing your password.
Your Password: The Basics
- Should not be less than 8 characters but preferably into double digits (16 is a great number!)
- You should include special characters, i.e., ;-)#
- Try not to use actual words you might find in a dictionary
- Include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters AND also numbers
Phishing on Thin Ice
Be suspicious of your emails, never open willy-nilly! Remember, YOU are the first line of defence, be wary of subject lines with misspelled words, and from sources you don't know. Also be wary of strange content and requests coming from people you do know (their email may have already been compromised).
Your delete button is always ready to serve you, use it to get rid of unwanted email.
Phishing, quite simply, is someone or thing, that attempts to get you to enter your password somewhere. If you ever get redirected from one site to another due to a link, which then asks you to re-enter your password, just don't do it! Always check the URL, it might surprise you!
Multiple passwords or one-for-all?
Standard advice says that you should have a different password for everything; practicality says that this just isn't feasible. The upshot of this means that somewhere, you will have a big list of all your accounts and their associated passwords. The holy grail for hackers!
There are password managers like Dashlane and LastPass you can check out, but you still need to remember your master password to access them.
For ease of use, it's best to use fewer, but more complicated passwords related to something only you should know:
It looks random, but is actually a phrase you can easily recall:
"I lost my virginity to Francesca Smith in 1999 in Battersea Power Station"
Which incorporates plenty of upper and lower case letters with a few numbers in there too - and it's 16 characters long!
Antivirus Software Also Helps
Antivirus software won't make you immune to hacking. It won't make you immune to the temptations of phishing either. It will help stop certain malware and viruses from entering your computer unwittingly (depending on your complicity).
The bottom line is this; think about what passwords you use and where. If someone knows one password, is it the key to unlocking all your accounts? Be smarter with your password creation and tighten up your security.
Hacking and data breaches happen everyday. If you think your computer, laptop, or Mac is infected by a virus and are unsure what to do next, or have any other concerns about virus protection call Hale IT on 0161 941 2525 for advice on repairs, document retrieval and PC security.