Fasthosts reveals most common password mistake and shares three top tips for avoiding online security issues
Fasthosts has revealed the most common error made when it comes to online password security. It might seem obvious but the repercussions of making this vital error isn’t for the faint hearted.
Unless you’re living in a cave (with no wifi), the chances are you have an online life. Whether you’re an SME selling dog shampoo or a mum sending cat videos to your loved ones, the majority of us have online accounts that require the use of a password to access personal information. But how secure are our passwords?
Data suggests that we could be doing a better job, with ‘123456’, ‘password1’ and the imaginative ‘qwerty’ all listed as passwords that have not only been used, but also hacked. In addition to this, 80% of UK organisations experienced a successful cybersecurity attack in 2021/2022. So, what can be done to ensure your online life is secure and remains private?
Chris James, Head of Security Operations at Fasthosts reveals the main mistake made when it comes to vulnerable passwords and shares her top three tips for making sure online accounts stay as secure as possible.
“While technologies such as 2FA can really help to keep your accounts secure, and it is strongly advised to use 2FA where you can, a strong password and password management system is still a vital part of your online security armoury.
The biggest mistake users often make is to re-use the same password across multiple services or accounts. This is especially dangerous if a hacker has also managed to get hold of your email address. Having your email address as well as password that you use across multiple services means you will likely fall foul of a scattergun attack. That’s where your email address (which is often your username) and password will be tried across hundreds (or even thousands) of different online services to try and gain access.
How to keep passwords secure
1. Use a password manager – If you have lots of passwords you need to remember, use a password manager. This will reduce the likelihood of you reaching for the same password over and over again and means you have all your secure passwords in one place. All you have to do is remember the password to get into your password manager account.
2. Passwords must be random and strong to be secure – If you need to create a password that you’ll remember (for example, to get into your password manager), use at least four completely random words. Password managers typically have a very secure password generator built into them so for all other passwords, just use your password manager. Doing this will increase your password entropy (the measure of how unpredictable a password is) to a point that will make it pretty much impossible for attackers to guess.
3. Don’t use browser-based password storage – You know those messages you get at the top of your browser once you log into an account? The ones that ask you if you would like to save your password? These are vital attack points and really easy targets for hackers so don’t use them! The majority of password managers will work with your browser and offer a much better level of security. Passwords stored in browsers are much safer than they used to be, but if there is a major security flaw in your browser, then it is possible for attackers to get a hold of that data.”
Regardless of how much you live your life online, for business or for your own personal use, password security is applicable to everyone and hackers certainly don’t discriminate, so make sure you follow these tips to help you stay one step ahead of them and keep your personal and business information securely under wraps.
For more details about the services Fasthosts provides, visit the Fasthosts website: https://www.fasthosts.co.uk/