Bad email habits can put you and your business at risk
Having the same password for your email as many of your other online accounts can put you and your business at risk.
The concept that using ‘password123’ is not the best option is slowly filtering through the national consciousness but are any of us really savvy enough with our passwords?
There is a real danger that many of us continue to put ourselves, our finances, and – for SMEs – our reputations, at risk through our email habits.
A recent industry survey revealed that more than half of respondents (52%) aged 18-25 and a quarter (27%) from all age groups reuse their email password across multiple accounts.
More worryingly, over three quarters of all Brits surveyed with an email account have sent personal information (such as their address or bank details) via email. Of those, 52% have still got bank or credit card details stored in their Sent Items.
A weak password can give hackers easy access to a ‘treasure trove’ of information. Once an email account has been breached, it can also be used to hijack many other personal accounts by asking for passwords to be reset. This then opens up access to other personal information and, in some cases, existing accounts, leaving you vulnerable to identity theft and fraud.
Common components of weak / easy-to-hack passwords:
- Repeating previously used passwords
- Names of close family members, pets or friends
- Your name
- Words in the dictionary
- Common names
- Repeating your login code
- Keyboard patterns and swipes (i.e., 123456 or QWERTY)
Free online resources like Secure Password Generator* are highly recommended.
Use a strong, separate password for your email
Cyber criminals can use your email to access many of your personal accounts and discover personal information, such as your bank details, address or date of birth.
Having a strong, separate password for your email means that if cyber criminals steal the password for one of your less important accounts, they can’t use it to access your email account. Where available, using two-factor authentication on your email account adds another layer of security since it means your account can only be accessed on a device that you have already registered.
And finally, regularly reviewing your credit status is another sensible way of protecting your personal identity. That way, if fraud is attempted you’re likely to be able to spot it and raise the alarm very quickly.
At V12 Tech, we offer a range of simple security solutions, available for both individuals and businesses:
- Secure Password Generator* – http://passwordsgenerator.net/ – this FREE resource randomly creates secure passwords
- F-Secure KEY Password Manager – store all your important passwords and PINs in one secure password manager. https://www.fsecure.com/en_GB/web/home_gb/key
- Firewall & Antivirus Software – block all incoming connections and all unnecessary outgoing connections with the firewall.
To discuss cyber security either for yourself or for your business, just call the V12Tech Team on 0330 445 0051 or email us on [email protected]