Back in the “good ol’ daze” privacy was a very personal thing for most people. Now, in the digital age, privacy has taken on a new meaning: keeping your online property secure is just as important as your physical possessions. And the thieves (hackers) don’t discriminate; in fact, older less tech-savvy people can be easy-picking for those who want to gain access to private information.
A good password has become the first line of defence against digital theft. We can play a big part in protecting our privacy by using a password that is not going to be easy to pick. Good, unique passwords are the key to protecting yourself against being on the receiving end of being hacked.
If you’re playing ostrich when it comes to heeding advice to create more unique and secure codes, you’re not Robinson Whatshisname. The most common passwords, compiled from more than 3.3 million leaked passwords in 2014 from North America and Western Europe, show users are not taking the threat seriously. Some people still use passwords such as; ‘123456’, single words such as ‘password’, ‘football’, ‘dragon’, or even their kid’s name, and wonder why they’re being hacked or have their identities stolen.
The bad guys know what passwords to try. You wouldn’t leave your front door unlocked, so why make it easy for people to get into your email, bank, or Wi-Fi
The best passwords, we’re told, use a combination of letters, numbers and capitalisation, and are often best based on phrases or sentences well known to the user. The phrase or sentence, of course, must mean something to you so you can easily remember it. Or, you could use an acronym of your favourite saying, interspersed with numbers and symbols, so it looks like gibberish. Say, for example, an old favourite of yours is ‘roses are red and violets are blue’ and you like number 7. You could set your password as ‘7RaR&VaB7’. This is difficult to guess, yet easy to remember.
Listen up fellow-oldies! While you’re at safeguarding your privacy, try using different passwords for each account you have. If that task seems too daunting there are service providers who can help (for a price, of course).