There have been a number of security scares in recent months and these have now been topped by, what some analysts call a security catastrophe, the discovery of the Heartbleed bug.
Although there is no evidence yet that the Heartbleed issue has resulted in any account hacking or unauthorised access to services many server managers and providers are recommending that, since the problem is so widespread, it’s time for you to change your passwords.
Now, changing your password can be a risky business. Your current password may be perfectly secure and you may be jumping from the frying pan into the fire. To help you pick your next password here are some simple tips.
Use different passwords for different websites
Don’t use the same password for multiple websites. If a website is compromised and your passwords become available to hackers they could potentially access other services using that very same password.
Don’t choose a common word for your password
If you use a password from the dictionary, especially passwords that are common words such as “password” you are very vulnerable to a hacking technique known as a dictionary attack. Try to add numbers or special characters to your password. Many websites will also differentiate a lowercase letter and an uppercase letter in a password.
Don’t choose a password that is relevant to you
Try to avoid passwords that are guessable. Don’t use your surname, date of birth, car registration, pets name or any other word that someone could potentially discover from other sources such as Facebook.
Keep your passwords safe
Don’t create a treasure trove of passwords, keep them safe and secure. If possible record your passwords in specialist password management software or in specialist apps on your mobile phone.
Secure your email
Many websites and online services will use your email address to facilitate the changing of the password for their respective services. It’s vital that the password for your email is especially secure and changed often, if a hacker gains access to your email they will be able to change passwords and access many of your other online services.
Now you’re armed with all the information you need to create your new passwords why not start with your email address. If you’re a Purple Tuesday customer you can do that by logging into our webmail service here.