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Be protected with passwords

With hackers and scammers on the prowl, digital security is more important than ever, but one basic step you can take is to avoid the most popular passwords. Research continues to reveal that the world’s favourite passwords are “password” and “123456”, followed by “iloveyou” and “qwerty”. Pet names and birth dates are also popular.

According to Wolfpack Information Risk, the best way to create a strong password is to use spaces and/or combinations of upper-case and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters (for example, @ # $ % ! ?), with a minimum of seven characters.

Alternatively, create a passphrase and add special characters and numbers to it. Wolfpack’s example is “Online banking saves me so much time and effort every day”. Create a coded version of the phrase (with letters and numbers) by using the first letter of each word like “Obsmsmt&eed!2014”.

Another option is using a “password manager” to generate secure passwords automatically for each service you use. These typically require you to set one master password that must be entered to unlock the “vault” where you store all your other passwords. The best ones include 1Password, F-Secure Key, Password Manager, Identity Safe, Last Pass, and KeePass.

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