Lock Down Your Online Security

In many hotspots where COVID-19 cases are spiking and hospitals are reaching capacity, people are once again in varying degrees of lockdown.  Until planting season begins and the weather allows for more outdoor activities, there are many ways to stay productive. One area still lacking for many people is their online security and safety that can be strengthened by tightening up security for accounts.  

According to a recent ZDNet report, many people are still using passwords that are easily deduced – pet names, significant dates, sports teams, family members’ names, and even the word “password” that put users at risk for cyber fraud.  People who use social media are especially vulnerable to fraud when anniversaries, birthdays, and names of pets or loved ones can be easily gleaned. 

Using simple passwords over multiple accounts, especially financial ones, can give hackers easy access.  If employees use one-word passwords across personal and work-related accounts, they could also be putting their employer’s corporate accounts at risk from cybercriminals.  Online security is more important than ever this year.

What is a strong password?  The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) suggests using three random words that are easy to remember but are not the name of a family member, hometown, pet, or alma mater.  Nothing that could be easily deduced by hackers.   It’s also important that email passwords are different than others used for online accounts. 

Saving your password to your web browser allows for easier access to accounts and it may also help protect against cyber attacks.  Turning on two-factor authentication also provides an added layer of security. 

If you have a hard time keeping your passwords straight, rather than writing them down, there are a number of password managers that help protect your login information while keeping it close at hand.  Managers like Last Pass or 1Password can be downloaded across all your devices making logging in easy and protecting against hacking. 

Learn more about securing accounts and devices, creating secure passphrases, and staying safe on social media by following this link to the National Cyber Security Alliance. If you want to check out common 2021 passwords, follow this link.