It’s #DataPrivacyDay Today

Today marks what’s become widely know on the internet as “Data Privacy Day” (or if you’re in the EU, “Data Protection Day”).

Data Privacy/Protection Day occurs annually on January 28th, and has taken place in some form or another for the past 9 years. It’s purpose is to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practices.

So what better day upon which to launch this brand new blog (and Twitter account) all about information and data security, privacy and protection.

If this is your first visit – and let’s face it, given that this is the maiden post on this blog – that’s highly likely(!), then Welcome! You may be interested in reading a little more about the purpose of this blog.

Anyway, back to Data Privacy/Protection Day! – this is a great opportunity to take a few minutes out of your day to review your online password usage.

Here are a couple of password tips worth checking today:

tick Avoid using the same password for multiple websites/services?

This is a big no no! Sure, it’s easier to remember a single password than it is to remember dozens if not hundreds of them! The risk is that if one of the websites/online services you use suffers an attack or data breach and your password is stolen, then the attacker can use those stolen credentials from one site to access your accounts on other sites.

A good solution is to use a password manager that will securely store (and in some cases generate) passwords for you so you don’t have to remember them. Your web browser itself may even have a password manager built in. There are also 3rd party password managers available (some of which are commercial)

tick Make your passwords at least 8 characters in length

Generally speaking, the longer your password or pass phrase the more secure it is. There are of course exceptions to this. For example, the password “11111111111111111111” which is 20 characters long is less secure than a random 8-character password like “hsoU82£_”

tick Include a mixture of numbers, upper & lowercase letters, and symbols in your password

Therefore, with the previous tip in mind, make sure your password doesn’t include easily predictable strings of characters, such as repeating or sequential characters. Instead include a good mix of both upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols in your password. There should be a minimum of at least one of each type (if not two or more) in your password

tick Avoid common passwords

Recently the 25 worst passwords of 2015 were revealed by SplashData. These were:

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. 12345678
  4. qwerty
  5. 12345
  6. 123456789
  7. football
  8. 1234
  9. 1234567
  10. baseball
  11. welcome
  12. 1234567890
  13. abc123
  14. 111111
  15. 1qaz2wsx
  16. dragon
  17. master
  18. monkey
  19. letmein
  20. login
  21. princess
  22. qwertyuiop
  23. solo
  24. passw0rd
  25. starwars

Are you using any of those? Why not take a few moments to change them to something more secure this Data Privacy Day.

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