Online Safety: 'Vital in New Year'

Article date: Fri, 13 Jan 2012 09:33 GMT

It is the start of a new year; resolutions are being made, spring cleaning has begun - at home and in the office - and online security is at the forefront of everyone's mind...isn't it? Internet hosting specialist UKFast is championing online security in the run up to Data Protection Day on January 27 and calling on internet users to stay safe online. The hosting company is raising awareness of online security risks and offering its advice on protecting your data online. Internet users are particularly vulnerable after the hubbub of Christmas and may forget the risks involved in online activity during the hectic festive season. UKFast's technical director, Neil Lathwood explains: "As we set our new year's resolutions and look to the year ahead, many of us forget our security online. We have just spent hours online shopping in the sales and used or set up accounts for numerous websites but are these accounts secure?" As UKFast revealed in 2011, the power of cheap graphics cards leaves most passwords vulnerable to crack - their research showed that it takes just 12 seconds to crack a six character password. Lathwood continues: "It is vital to protect your information as well as possible. Passwords need to be long, complex and changed regularly. Most importantly we should have different passwords for each account, so if one account is compromised we are not gifting access to every one of our accounts and profiles." Other options to increase security include using password generators. These are a hi-tech way to have a constantly-changing password, with a new one created by the gadgets each time you log in. European Privacy and Data Protection Day will be held on 27 January 2012 and aims to draw attention to the value that privacy and data protection has in our societies. The day will bring data protection to the fore with events and webinars throughout the day and the build up to it. UKFast will be chairing a round table debate, bringing together experts from the security industry to discuss data protection and online security going into 2012, greatest threats we face on Wednesday January 25.

UKFast's top tips for password safety:

  • Use a mix of upper and lowercase character, numbers and symbols - Af197"£
  • The longer the better, a phrase would be ideal such as: ILoveL!v3rPO0LFc185
  • Use different passwords for each account
  • Change your passwords regularly
  • No dictionary-listed words or obvious passwords, eg: Password, 123456, drowssap...
  • No dates of birth, initials, names or anything that would be easy to guess from a social media profile, eg: Alice1987

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