You and your passwords... how safe are you?

Another week another security breach at a popular website, this time it was eBay, who for some reason decided to wait over a month before going public about the security breach that resulted in eBay asking its 233 million users, 14 million of which are active in the UK to reset their passwords! 

This has made me think about my own security and do I need to change / seriously rethink how I protect my data on websites, and more importantly do my family need to do this also.

Now I know I have numerous passwords for the many websites that I use and for those that offer it I use 2-step authentication, but how strong are the passwords I use?  

Well some are stronger than others, listening to the Guardian Tech Weekly podcast today, they recommend that you should use a password at least 20 characters long combining special characters, letters (upper and lower) as well as numbers.

I can say with certainty thats not the case for a lot of mine, I don't feel to bad though considering that during the cold war the secret unlocking code for the American nuclear missiles was 00000000.

One thing to remember is that if a hacker does get access to a sites username and passwords the likelihood of someone sitting down and trying to guess your password is slim to none, instead hackers use brute force to guess the password, they will use a computer to run a million of password guess through an encryption algorithm until hey presto the system guesses it!

So how can you stop this, well you can use a password wallet app such as dashlane, or apples own built in service, or you could like one person did on the podcast, created a code to then mix with the name of the website for example:

Code could be 34%$^£!0810(SS)AP

So for Facebook you would mix in the code with the name of the site:

34FA$^CE£!BO08OK10(SS)AP

I hope you are still with me but if you used this then for each site the password would be different as it incorporates the name of the site.

Enough rambling from me, we are all busy and don't take our online security seriously enough!  Just try and cover yourself before the worst happens.... ha ha you would never guess I work in the insurance industry would you! 

I am going to be giving Dashlane a chance and see how I get on as well.... If there is something you do differently let me know!!! For once the more we share on this topic hopefully the safer we will all be!