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Struggling to think of a New Year’s Resolution?

Lyndsey Hayes

IT Director
20/12/2018

Christmas is fast approaching and 2018 is coming to an end. Are you searching for an easy New Year’s Resolution not to give up on next year?

New Year’s Resolutions, the ambitious commitment to help change your ways. Whether it’s to be healthier or fitter, to drink less or smoke less, to tidy more or to read more, people aim to improve themselves in different ways at the start of every year.

They’re a great idea, if you stick to them!

If you’re like me, you’ll probably do well up until February. I’m the classic ‘January Gym Member’ who turns up consistently for the first few weeks and then I’m never seen again once February hits. In fact, 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail by February, the majority of us are all really bad at improving our ways!

In 2019 we can change that, next year can be the year we all complete our resolutions, and we’ve got an easy way for you to do it…be more secure!

Being more secure is simple and far more relaxing then committing to the gym! You can pretty much do it in one day by completing these 3 easy steps;

3 easy steps to become more secure and safe online

Task 1 – Create a strong password!

Passwords are the first easy step to making yourself less prone to being hacked. Create a strong password for all of your important accounts, we always suggest a minimum of 8 characters with the password containing a CAPITAL and lowercase letter, number and symbol (!?£$*@).

Your password can still be really easy for you to remember, make it a favourite song or movie title, your favourite pizza topping or ice cream flavour. It can literally be anything! As long as it isn’t included in ‘2018’s Worst Passwords’ list. Yes, it’s a real thing!

Every year a Cybersecurity firm called SplashData evaluate millions of leaked passwords to determine which are the most easily cracked, here are the top 10;

  1. 123456
  2. Password
  3. 123456789
  4. 12345678
  5. 12345
  6. 111111
  7. 1234567
  8. Sunshine
  9. Qwerty
  10. iloveyou

Shocking, but it doesn’t surprise me. There are large organisations who today still use the above passwords as default passwords for their products, and a lot of users do not bother to change them.

Use different passwords for different accounts, or use the same password but mix it up a bit! It really is a pain having to remember loads of different passwords for different accounts, but there are tools out there to help you. Programs like LastPass or other products allow you to securely store all of your credentials for all the different accounts you have. And they’re FREE! They even make it easier for you to login.

For that added bit of security make sure to change your passwords as regularly as possible, every 3 months is more than enough and won’t cause you much trouble.

Task 2 – Antivirus and SPAM filters

Antivirus is crucial today, one click on a bad website or email can cause you a lot of misery. There are hundreds of different antivirus tools out there all at a reasonable price. You can get BitDefender for less than £3 per month on your device, it doesn’t have to be expensive!

SPAM filters add that extra bit of security to your emails. With phishing being one of the fastest growing industries in the world right now, it is crucial for us to be extra cautious. It’s also nice to have something that helps clean up your mailbox a bit as well.

Task 3 – Keep your devices up to date!

Updates use to be a real pain for us all, but today they don’t have to be! Checking for updates is easy on all devices, and now you can schedule all of your updates so that they don’t interrupt you at important times. A quick Google search will help you find out how to check for updates on your device and how to schedule them, it also makes sure you don’t miss out on any cool new features they add!

So there you have it. Make your New Year’s Resolution to be more secure and in 3 easy steps you can be one of the very few people who complete them next year!

Everyone at Cyber Wise would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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