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Crime prevention Hertfordshire

Password security

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Good security becomes useless if a malicious person obtains a legitimate user name and password. Hackers can use programmes that try lots of common password combinations or social engineering to make an informed guess to a password. If a hacker takes hold of one of your business accounts, it will be in your name that they send phishing emails, make or authorise bank transfers, tamper with records or systems, or steal company data.

How can I avoid this?

  • Never use the same passwords at work that you use for your personal purposes, such as home emails or social media.
  • Ensure all your work passwords are unique and strong, particularly your email.  Remember that your email, if hacked, could be used to reset many of your other passwords.
  • Don’t write down your passwords, share passwords with colleagues or send passwords via email.

Weak passwords

  • Single dictionary words
  • Usernames, people’s names, pet names, business names or family birthdays
  • Favourite sports team, hobby or other words easy to work out with a little background knowledge.
  • Numerical sequences or consecutive letters on a keyboard.
  • When choosing numerical passcodes or PINs, do not use ascending or descending numbers (for example 4321 or 12345) or repeating numbers (such as 1111).
  • Don’t recycle passwords (e.g jumperoff1, jumperoff2, jumperoff123!)

Strong passwords

  • Think of a meaningful phrase or song lyric and then initialise it. For example. "Hello, is it me you’re looking for?" becomes H,IIMYL4?
  • Or, string together three random words for each password, as the Cyber Streetwise video at the bottom of the page explains.

 Using different passwords for each of your accounts can make them very difficult to remember. Consider using one of the many password vaults available on the internet, but read reviews and get recommendations.

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