How to keep your passwords safe online

How to keep your passwords safe online

Screen with sticky notes showing passwords

Whether it’s clicking a link in an unsuspecting email, losing our social media account to hackers or inadvertently providing criminals with personal financial information, pretty much everyone has fallen victim to cyber-crime at some point.

Despite being well aware of the risks and consequences of our personal details becoming compromised, many of us still don’t take our online safety seriously. A survey carried out last year found that just 21% of us use a different password for every platform, and an incredible 2.5 million people are still using ‘123456’ as a password.

Strong passwords are the easiest and most effective way to protect yourself against online crime. Below we share some of our top tips for creating super secure passwords and keeping them safe. 

Use a strong password

As tempting as it is to use your pet’s name, it doesn’t make for a very secure password. Cyber criminals have access to all sorts of information about us thanks to social media so don’t use anything obvious like pets, children, your partner or your favourite holiday destination. 

Go for something that’s a little unusual and includes letters and numbers. Most devices give you the option to use an already generated strong password which you can save to your keychain so you don’t have to worry about trying to remember it. It’s a great idea to use this feature because it removes the personal bias when you’re creating passwords. You may think it’s enough to use your pet’s name followed by ‘123’ at the end, but it’s still very easy to guess.

Now you’ve created a nice strong password, just remember – don’t use it for every site. If criminals do somehow manage to guess it, it means they’ll gain access to everything.

It’s also a good idea to change your passwords on a regular basis, no matter how unique they are.

Use a password manager

Trying to remember all your passwords is a nightmare, which is why so many of us end up using the same one for everything.

Password managers are websites which allow users to store, generate and manage their passwords. They can also help generate passwords which are strong and secure.  

Many are free and they’re very easy to use. Best of all, the only password you’ll need to remember is the one for your password manager. Make sure you do your research beforehand and check reviews to ensure you use a reputable site.

Use two-factor authentication (2FA)

Multi-factor authentication means that even with your password, nobody else will be able to get into your account. When you try to log in, you receive a text message or email with a number you need to enter before you can gain access to your account. This number is different every time, making it virtually impossible for someone else to get into your account.

For more top tips on staying safe online, please head to the National Cyber Security Centre website. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Brawband if you have any questions about accessing faster broadband.