Are you Cyber Aware?
We’d really love you to be – and the UK government, would, too.
Today sees CyberAware.gov.uk releasing the latest episode in its #OneReset campaign, aimed at making us all safer online.
The idea is straightforward, and hard to argue with: if you are struggling with cybersecurity, or you know you ought to sharpen up but haven’t quite got around to it yet…
…why not start by locking down the place that keeps the most secrets about you?
Yes, we’re talking about email.
Even a world of socially-oriented apps such as Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat and Twitter, your email account is still “trophy data” for any crooks who want to take over your digital life.
That’s because email is still very likely the recovery tool for many or most of your other accounts, whether you see yourself as an email embracer or not.
Crooks who crack your email account often go on to reset your other passwords, so they not only get in, but also lock you out of everything at the same time.
Additionally, email is where many of us accumulate a trove of data that could helps cybercrooks to paint a detailed picture of our lifestyles – all the way from from emailed utility bills to flight and hotel confirmations.
Cyber Aware’s survey, for example, found that more than half of UK adults keeps receipts in their inbox, creating a handy purchasing index for any crooks who get into their email accounts later on.
Worst of all, Cyber Aware found that 30% of Britons still use one password for everything, including email, so that if a data breach happens on one account, the crooks essentially get into all the others for free.
What to do?
Here are some straight-talking tips that will help to convince you that passwords are important, and teach you how to choose better passwords easily.
Even if you’ve got your own password situation under control, show this video to your friends and family to get them on board too:
(Watch directly on YouTube if the video won’t play here.)
- All accounts need decent passwords. Don’t fall into the trap of using an “easy” password for accounts you don’t care much about right now. If the crooks get at any of your accounts they are one step closer to persuading other people they are you.
- Every account needs a different password. Make it harder for the crooks by never using the same or similar passwords for multiple accounts.
- Let a password manager do the hard work for you. A password manager can instantly invent new and wacky passwords for every account, won’t forget them or mix them up, makes it easier to change passwords if you ever need to do so, and will help prevent you putting the right password into the wrong site.
- Use 2FA whenever you can. 2FA is short for two-factor authentication, usually done with those one-time login codes that are texted to your phone, or generated by an app on your phone. 2FA makes logging in slightly less convenient for you, but very much harder for the crooks – just guessing your password is no longer enough for them to get in.
And one final point…
- Consider using Sophos Home. It’s business-grade protection but for home users, and the Premium version includes cutting edge technology from Sophos Intercept X. Sophos is currently offering 20% off Sophos Home Premium to Naked Security readers.