Christmas is nearly here, people are beginning the big “wind down” and it would be so easy to let your guard down too.
Well, let me tell you, the hackers and cyber criminals won’t – it anything they’ll be ratcheting up their activity because they know that our minds will be on other things.
You know, things like Christmas parties, gifts, food, television and everything else that’s associated with the season of goodwill.
So, vigilance must remain high, both in the office and when working from home. Keep your eyes open for suspicious looking emails, especially those coming from unexpected quarters, with messages that promise much, such as tax refunds or deliveries of items you don’t remember ordering. Also beware of emails with links to websites that look OK but in reality will do harm.
It’s also a good idea to take a fresh look at your password security. SplashData have just released their ninth annual “Worst Passwords of the Year” list which has been compiled from more than 5m passwords that have ended up on the Dark Web after being purloined by hackers.
Unfortunately, not a lot has changed over previous lists
- 123456 (same place as 2018)
- 123456789 (up 1 place)
- qwerty (a return to the top 5 for this old favourite)
- password (slips two places)
- 1234567 (up 2)
- 12345678 (falls out of the top 5)
- 12345 (falls by 2 places)
- iloveyou (this perennial is up 2 places from 10 in 2018)
- 111111 (yes, people do use this although it’s fallen 3 places from last year)
- abc123 (up 7 and breaking in to the top 10)
SplashData estimates that at least 1 in 10 people have used at least one of these poor passwords.
Data breaches are inevitable but by using strong, unique passwords for each individual account that you have makes the theft of one password much less of a disaster than if you use the same (or close variant) across all of your accounts.
3 simple tips to make your digital life more secure
- Use passphrases (random word combinations) of 12 characters or more with mixed character types
- Use a different password for each of your log-ins so if you loose one password you haven’t lost all of the keys to your digital empire
- Use a password manager to secure your digital assets, to generate random password combinations, store them securely and make them available across all of your devices
And PLEASE, if this applies to to you – STOP USING PASSWORD or 12345678 and use one of these instead
Top Password Managers (in no particular order)
- Gpass – for Google users
- TeamsID – Business focused password manager
- 1Password – from $2.99 per month
- Bitwarden – Free
- Dashlane – Free for up to 50 passwords
- KeepassXC – Supports Windows, Linux and Macs
- LastPass – Free for personal use
- Your web browser
Have a great Christmas, a happy new year and I look forward to communicating with you in the new year. If you need any help, please, just ask. You can reach me by phone – 01793 238020 – email – firstname.lastname@example.org or just hunt me down on Social Media.
However, I hope to enjoy Christmas too so may be slower than normal in responding to your requests. I’ll be back in the office on January 2nd.