Use the same password for everything? Think again!

by Andre Vaux

Andre is Managing Director at claireLOGIC – a business which delivers IT and Communications services to businesses in the UK.

We’ve all been there. It’s just so easy to use the same login and password details across multiple websites. Yet we know it’s not the right or sensible thing to do. So if you make one New Year’s Resolution for 2017 make it this: to vary your logins and passwords before your accounts get hacked – or you might need help from our IT support team to remedy a stressful situation.

IT support urges password updates in light of high-profile breaches

During the last weeks of 2016 yet another large-scale data breach came to light. This time Yahoo admitted what cyber security expert Troy Hunt calls: “By far and away the largest data breach we’ve ever seen.” Yahoo say it was caused by an unauthorised third party, ‘who in August 2013, stole data associated with more than one billion user accounts’. Account users are now being urged to change their passwords and security questions.

And earlier this year file hosting giant DropBox also admitted to the media that a data breach in 2012 may have exposed millions of user passwords, after a file claiming to contain email addresses and hashed passwords for over 68 million (!) Dropbox accounts was made available for anyone to download.

Public speaker and independent computer security analyst Graham Cluley, offers the following IT support advice to which we fully concur:

“Get out of the habit of reusing the same passwords. It’s a recipe for disaster. My recommendation is that you get yourself a decent password manager to generate and securely remember your passwords for you.”

He also offers IT support advice to DropBox users who think they may have been affected:

 

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Old habits die hard

For many people there’s almost something comforting about having the same password for every website login. You know you won’t forget it and have to spend ages searching around for it, only to request a reminder that takes an hour to arrive. These days we want fast access to our accounts, so having just one login seems more convenient albeit risky as we are all aware.

But with data breaches becoming more prevalent we need to break old habits. We must learn how to stay protected against increasing numbers of malware, viruses and hackers who really go the extra mile to access our confidential data.

Use a password manager program

In agreement with Graham Cluley, our IT support team recommends a solution that makes it far easier to manage your passwords, all from one place – a password manager program. TechRadar has listed the top password managers for 2017, giving you a good idea of all the features you can get and should expect from a password manager program. They say: “… creating and recalling strong passwords that are unique to each website is a huge PITA. Thank goodness, then, for password managers: not only do they do the remembering so you don’t have to, but they can usually do all the typing too.”

In addition to generating fail-safe passwords (and many other features) all top password managers should sync across Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices. So as well as being more safe and secure online you won’t need to spend time fiddling around inputting passwords on different devices either.

One piece of advice

If you take on one piece of IT security advice in 2017, make it this from our IT support team:

“Implement a password manager program to stay safe in light of more and more prevalent data breaches. Keeping your confidential data secure in this way is one quick and simple method of improving your IT security set-up. Put an end to using the same passwords across sites once and for all, and put a stop to bad password habits with password management software.”

We can help

Our Oxfordshire IT support team is always on hand to assist you with any data breach incidents or any security solutions to help you stay safe, including providing advice around password manager programs. Contact our Oxfordshire IT support team with any concerns or queries.

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