Are Your Passwords Keeping You Safe?

World Password Day 2015

I know many of us feel overwhelmed by the huge volume of tips on how to keep ourselves safe online. Keeping up to date with current threats, new trends and safe practices can often feel like a full-time commitment.

 But if I had to pick the most important online safety strategy of them all, it would be safely managing your passwords. I believe that having a truly complex password (and changing it regularly) is one of the most important things you can do to secure your online life.

Thursday 7 May is World Password Day – a great opportunity to take stock and really take our passwords ‘up-a-notch’. By putting a little time into improving your passwords, I can guarantee that you will be taking a big step towards securing your digital life.

As part of its ongoing commitment to education, Intel Security is taking a lead role in promoting World Password Day so that consumers worldwide understand the importance of password safety. So, as Intel Security’s Cybermum, here are my top tips to make sure your passwords are keeping you safe:

  1. Pledge to take charge of your passwords/change or strengthen your password at http://www.passwordday.org/au. This dedicated Intel Security site will also include some great tips, animated GIFs and password confessions.
  2. Change your passwords now and commit to doing this regularly. Schedule a diary reminder for once every 3 months.
  3. Lock all your devices with a pin or passcode. Make sure your kids do this as well TODAY!
  4. Ensure your passwords are complex. They need 8-10 characters with a combination of lower and uppercase letters, symbols and numbers. Do NOT use any ‘real’ words.
  5. Do not casually share your passwords – ensure your kids understand this also. Many think it’s cool to share – it’s not!
  6. Enable multi-factor authentication. This means when you sign into a site or account, you will require not only your pin but a code that is delivered to you via a text or phone call.
  7. Use unique passwords for all your accounts. If this just gets too hard, please see point 8!
  8. Invest in a Password Manager to memorise your passwords. Check out McAfee’s Password Manager which you will find as part of their LiveSafe Online Security Solution.
  9. Pay attention to security breaches. If you hear about a company getting hacked (that you may be a customer of), notice a security flaw on your news feed or some unusual activity on your email account then change your passwords ASAP.

So, make the pledge today! Change your password regularly, make it tricky and keep it private. You’ll never look back!

Till next time,

Take care

Alex

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