If you’re sat thinking about what New Years resolutions to make (and keep), hopefully you’re considerring positive changes and not just cutting out chocolate (I love chocolate, that’s definitely not on my list).

This year, can we get you to add one resolution that’s easy to keep… change your password!

The internet is amazing, but it can also be a scary place, with too many people trying to take advantage.

With most of what we do being online, it’s easier for you to use the same password everywhere, or simple ones that you can easily remember, but  that just makes it easier for cyber criminals and (mean) people to take advantage.

Yes, it’s a nightmare to remember hundreds of different passwords, but if someone manages to guess one or if it gets on a list of compromised logins that are sold on, it can cause real problems for you. Changing your password is such a simple task to add to your list, one that we all should be doing regularly, so pull up a chair, make a brew and read these few tips and start 2022 as cyber safe as you can.

  • Try to use a more complicated password – please, please, please don’t use ‘123456789’ or ‘Password’ at all! These will absolutely be tried by criminals, long gone are the days of them typimg them in too, it’s more often than not a computer randomly generating words to try and see what works. Think about using a small random sentence as your password, versus a single word and number, such as ‘whydidthegreenelephantcrosstheroad’, you can get quite creative with this approach! That example would take a computer about 1 nonillion years (long long time) to crack, whereas ‘password123’ would take less than a month for a computer to crack. Want to see how long the experts think your password will take a criminal using a computer to crack, find out here; https://www.security.org/how-secure-is-my-password/
  • Don’t use the same password for more than one site or service – this can expose all of your accounts; a criminal only has to ‘hack’ one to gain access and you can guarantee one they’ve found one that will work, they’ll be looking to check if you’ve used it for other accounts. If they get access to your email account, they’ve hit gold! Once they’re in your email account, at a glance they can see all the emails you’ve had and can  just request a password reset link to your email address. If we can convince you to change only one password regularly, make it your email account.
  • Don’t save passwords in a text, word or excel file on your computer – you don’t leave your keys in the car door overnight, so don’t leave passwords lying around either. If you have loads of passwords and need a way to remember them all, (now that they are super complex and obviously different for each service you have… wink wink nudge nudge), try using a password manager. This is an application you install that requires you to setup 1 strong password and acts as a safe for all your passwords. Either do some research online and you will soon find a few consistently good ones listed in multiple reviews or check out if your mobile phone can do this for you already.
  • Try to use Multi Factor Authentication / 2 Factor Authentication – sounds complex, but the chances are you’ve seen this working already; banks use it a lot when you need to rest your banking app password and you get sent a 1-time pin or code to a registered email address or number, sound familiar? It’s similar to this process, but you get the randomly generated code every time you sign into the service. As the second code is random between you and the service, this makes it harder for the criminals to gaine access to an online service. We have this feature, super simple to set up and we’ve even done a guide https://www.lcn.com/support/articles/how-to-set-up-and-use-two-factor-authentication/