Cyber crime specialists at South Yorkshire Police are urging people to think randomly to try protect them from identity fraud.
Detective Inspector Stephen Leach and his team are backing a new initiative aimed at getting people to use three random memorable words after it emerged only 35 percent of people in Yorkshire are following latest government password advice.
Research conducted on behalf of National Cyber Security Centre, part of GCHQ, also indicates 32 percent of people surveyed in and around Yorkshire and the Humber have shared their passwords with others.
DI Leach said: “The easiest way to protect yourself from becoming a victim of cyber crime is to set a password that is random and difficult to crack, but not that difficult that you have to write it down and compromise its security.
“Your most important accounts are your email, social media and online banking accounts, so it’s important to use strong, separate passwords for each of these.
“It doesn’t matter what inspires people – it might be a night at the cinema, a sporting contest or favourite foods. The important element is making passwords random, using a different one for each site and never sharing your passwords.”
Cyber crime is a growing national issue. According to Office for National Statistics figures, an estimated two million cyber crime offences were committed last year.** A weak password can allow hackers to use email to gain access to personal accounts, leaving individuals vulnerable to identity theft or fraud.
DI Leach added: “Traditionally, the ultimate strong password was considered to be long with a multitude of symbols, numbers and capital letters. Although this makes for quite secure passwords, they’re harder to remember.
“People tend to choose weak passwords instead, or compromise the less memorable passwords by writing them down. Strong memorable passwords with three random words should prove easier to remember.”
To find out more, visit cyberaware.go.uk/passwords site.