Get safe online: protect your purchases in cyberspace

Get safe online: protect your purchases in cyberspace
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October 20-26 is officially Get Safe Online Week. And, with the run up to Christmas imminent, now's a great time to make sure everything's safe and secure online before you start buying big.

We've got more accounts and sets of login details to remember than we care to think about. And this is true for most of us, with 62 per cent of over 55s having roughly five more passwords than they did this time last year.

But a staggering 47 per cent of Britons have 'unsafe' password habits, such as using pet names or significant dates, and a third of us have said it's beacuse we would struggle to remember what our passwords were otherwise!

However Jamie Saunders of the National Crime Agency says, "Simple things like using three or more words, a mixture of numbers, letters and symbols, upper and lower case letters will make it much more difficult for hackers to access your details."

The Agency's top tips for creating and remembering safe passwords include:

  • The 'Loci Method'. Imagine a familiar scene and place each item that needs to be remembered in a particular location - for example, red rose on the table. Then imagine looking around at these items in a specific sequence. This should help you to remember longer lists or passwords.
  • Acronyms. Use the first letters from a phrase, or sentence.
  • Narrative Method. Remember a sequence of key words by creating a story with memorable details;

'the little girl wore a bright yellow hat as she walked down the narrow street...'

It may sound laborious, but practice really does make perfect!

For further information about the survey, and more ways to stay safe online, visit www.cyberstreetwise.com and www.getsafeonline.org