1. Creating good passwords:
Get yourself a system for password creation - never use the same password for different accounts. If someone breaks into your email account and then easily finds their way then into a payment portal or shopping site, you'll have even bigger problems.
It's hard to remember lots of passwords, but here are some tips:
- Two or three seemingly random words are the hardest code to crack, especially for malicious software trying to guess information about you. Like HorseyTableFace.
- If using numbers, letters and symbols, look to create passwords that relate to where you're logging into. Pick things that you can remember but are not too obvious: T3ssaCohen$h0p for Tesco shopping, or L!ttleBlueB!rd for Twitter.
- Change your passwords often - can you add 1 to the digits of your password each month to make this easier? Or add 1 in letters? Or swap the capital letter in turn?
- Never ever leave the password as 'welcome', 'password' or '1234'. If one of your accounts is hacked - change any others with a similar password immediately.
- Write your passwords down if you need to. It may seem counter-intuitive, but if an online thief is testing your security, they won't be doing it from inside your house. You could write some in a notebook in a drawer, just don't tell anyone. If you do write them down, don't carry them with you - imagine finding a bank card and the PIN number with it! There are also safe places online you can save passwords - search 'password managers'.
- Try not to use your own personal information in your password, like date of birth or name - it can be quite easy to guess. Go for something more obscure like a partner/pet/food/place you like, and then swap letters around, add numbers and symbols.
2. A couple more security tips for your devices:
- Use anti-virus software to protect yourself from malicious software, and update it regularly.
- Always install the latest security updates to stay protected against the latest threats. If an update is available, you’ll usually receive an alert on your phone, tablet or computer to
let you know. Download and install it as soon
as you can.
3. We've found some great advice we hope you'll find useful for protecting yourself:
Which? has these seven tips for spotting a scam (button below goes to their consumer rights website)