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Why do I need to set a strong unique password?


Think of a password like a key. You wouldn’t use the same key to open your shed, your car or your office, because if you lost it someone could access all those places easily. The same goes for your passwords. If you use one password for all your accounts then if a cyber-criminal gets hold of it, they could access everything.

Most people have around 20 passwords to remember, so let’s look at a few ways to make them strong, unique and easy to remember.

1. The random words method

Think of four or more random words that aren’t connected in any way then memorise them. Take these for example:

blanket     measure     carbohydrates     pin-wheel

Your new password is:

blanketmeasurecarbohydratespin-wheel

Simple to create… complex to crack.

2. The passphrase method

Make up a unique phrase or rhyme about yourself that only you know.  Don’t use a well-known song title, a line from a play or anything which is published anywhere. Take this for example:

My favourite bed-time story is The Little Red Hen

This then becomes the password:

Mfb-ts1T^L^R^H

We’ve added a special character (^) instead of spaces, changed the letter i to number 1 and kept the hyphen from “bed-time”. All of this adds a bit of complexity.

3. Use a password manager app

A lot of people find it much easier to manage all their passwords using a password manager app. This is like having a safe in your phone where you keep all your complex passwords. 

Many password manager apps can also generate random complex passwords for you to apply to your accounts. Then all you have to do is to set one strong, long and complex password to lock the safe… and make sure you don’t forget it!

4. Use 2FA whenever you can

However good your passwords are, they can only provide a certain level of protection. So we recommend you enable two-factor authentication (2FA) with any of your accounts that offer it. 2FA is the single best thing you can do to improve the security of your important accounts.


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