Cyber Security – how do you protect yourself?

The next phase of The Government Cyber Streetwise has launched. This time it’s tackling the subject of passwords.

On average a person will have between 19 to 26 online accounts, (figures according to Experian), 25-34 year olds being the most prolific users with no fewer than 40 online accounts per person on average. If you start adding up your email account, social profiles, online banking, bills, and food and fashion retailer accounts and so on, you can easily see how this number rapidly adds up.

As online marketers with multiple accounts, some juggling multiple accounts on behalf of clients too, how does one remember all the passwords? Most people will probably stick to five different passwords or less with some choosing to use one for all accounts. To make matters worse we choose familiar objects, places, people or office name as our choice of passwords – this can make guessing it very easy.

So it comes as no surprise that hacking into accounts becomes quite easy, especially if someone manages to hack into your email then can reset all others through there. Going back to data from Experian, in 2012 between January and April online criminals had illegally traded 12 million pieces of personal information, you can imagine it has probably got worse since.

So what to do to protect yourself – well the simple answer is to have a different password for each account – use a mix of small and big caps, numbers and symbols. But how do you remember at the very least 19 passwords?

According to Alex McAleer interviewed on yesterday’s Good Morning Britain a way to remember passwords is to visualise them, create a journey. Methods he discussed were the Loci method whereby you visualise a journey in your head in a familiar place, say your home, and put objects in your journey that remind you of all the passwords. Other suggestions could be acronyms, and the story method using key details to remember your passwords.  Seems a little bit too much like hard work for me.

Do you have any suggestions/tips for remembering passwords?

Alex Mcleer explains more in this video.

Quirky Fact: The most commonly used password is ‘password’ 

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