Passwords: creating strong and unique passphrases

Because all the security in the world won’t help if you leave the front door open

Use Strong PasswordsPasswords (or passphrases) protect your computer and online services such as email, online banking, social networking profiles and internet auction accounts.

NetSafe has heard from hundreds of people who have had their accounts broken into because their passwords were weak- meaning they were easily accessed by hackers.

Passwords should be:

Strong:

Made up of a mix of 15 letters, characters and symbols. An example would be:

Th1sI5a5tr0ngP@ssw0rd!

Kept a secret:

Sharing your login information may break the conditions set by your bank or cause you problems in the future if you fall out with a friend or partner who can access your email or Facebook.

Unique:

Use a different password for every computer and website you access, especially for online banking, your social networking profiles, internet auction accounts and email services. That way if one site gets hacked, your other accounts won’t be so easily compromised.

Changed often:

Aim to change your passwords every 90 days. If you have difficulties remembering them, consider drawing a picture to remind you or using a password manager tool.

You can use a strong password on your computer, your favourite websites and important files and backups that need to be kept secure. Make sure you also protect your mobile phone with a password, pin or swipe pattern.

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