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Why strong passwords are 1mp0rt4nt!

My mother is going to get hacked one day, guaranteed. You see, try as I might she persists on using the same password for every online authentication requirement she has. And no, adding a 1 on the end does not make it OK!

Security breaches at major global corporations are so common place now that you don’t even hear about them – for example, anyone hear about Talk Talk, a major consumer ISP and telephony provider in the UK? They’re probably going to go out of business due to a security breach a couple of weeks ago, and that’s just from the fines and compensation payouts they’re facing from not adequately protecting their customer data.

Take a look at the infographic below (click on it to go to the full interactive page). The focus seems to be heavily on the US and UK, but these are global household names – just in the top of the list I can count 7 businesses that would have my details in their records (ahem, I’m in the clear on Ashley Madison).

You might say who cares if someone hacks SnapChat (2013) and gets my details? To answer that you need to look at how this data typically gets used. In very general terms, most data from these type of breaches gets sold on to other criminal organisations.

If passwords are available from the hack they’ll be used in brute force type attacks on other entities (using the same password for your ebay account and bank account is NOT a great idea Mum). And if no passwords are breached the other data will still be used to build profiles for use in phishing attacks.

These 21st century ‘con man’ style approaches are to my mind the scariest of the lot, because we’re all susceptible at some point to the friendly phone call from the trusted provider who already has all of your details.

So what should you be doing Mum? Use strong and complex passwords for any website login you have, and never use the same one twice. Easier said than done you argue? Well sure, so choose and use a good password manager that creates, stores and manages highly complex password for you.

Take a look at the reviews below for free and paid password manager apps.

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