‘WEAK PASSWORD’: the error message that makes us all roll our eyes in exasperation. If it doesn’t contain seven different character types, plus a string of random numbers and the name of a type of brassica, it’s not a strong password, right?

It’s a pain, but a necessary one – did you know that one small business in the UK is hacked every nineteen seconds, and there are around 65,000 attempts to hack SMBs in the UK, every single day? With that in mind, here are some tips as to how to secure your digital life with that virtually un-hackable password…

A change is as good as a rest

We get it – it’s tempting to use the same password for everything from online shopping to banking – that way you’ll never get locked out, right? But consider this: someone gains access to your supermarket account, then they move on to your emails, perhaps getting access to your home address, then they try your bank account and bingo! Same password. Essentially, by using the same password, you’ve made it easy for a cybercriminal to empty your bank account, and gain access to personal details in the process.

No need to get personal!

However memorable it may be, using your firstborn’s date of birth or your beloved cat’s name in a password is a definite no-no. These nuggets of information can be found on your social media channels – using them as passwords is a bad move (you may as well pop up a status with your passwords listed in it).

Password password

Who would use the word Password as their password? Lots of you, seemingly – it’s a common theme in top ten password data over the years, alongside 123456, 123456789 qwerty, and 111111. We can’t help but roll our eyes at these!

Phrase it out

See your password as an opportunity to get creative by turning it from a random string of numbers to a passphrase. A strong passphrase is more memorable for you, while being infinitely trickier to crack. Choose four or more randomly chosen words, and your password will be as strong as one that uses a random (and less memorable) string of characters. Just make sure to use a different passphrase for each site.