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are criminals logging into our lives with the intention to somehow make money

This company has been phished. That company has been subjected to ransomware. My friend has lost his identity. I have a limited idea of what those mean, but what is more scary is that cybercrime is now bigger than the drugs trade.

A friend of mine had an email from Netflix informing him someone had signed in from Colombia. He changed his password. When he logged back in there was an extra profile that said: ‘I still know your password.’ Very scary.

The smart guys that work in cybercrime tell me hackers don’t hack in, they log in. They are not hackers, they are criminals logging into our lives with the intention to somehow make money. Either by stealing your identity to apply for credit cards, bribe you, or to get your passwords.

Let’s talk passwords: Two men are walking in the woods when they see a bear. One man bends down to tighten the laces on his shoes. The other man looks at him and says, “Are you crazy? You can’t outrun a bear!”. The first guy, while tying his shoes, replies, “I don’t need to outrun the bear. I just need to outrun you.”

Hackers are looking to make money easily, so your password just needs to be stronger than the next guy. Know two things: the most common password is ‘password’, and that most people use the same password for most accounts – hackers call this the domino effect. So, if a hacker gets into your Netflix they can take a good shot at your bank account, too.

Use these simple changes to be more secure:

  • Use three random words as your password. For example ‘grass table spoon’. Include the spaces. This makes your password 17 characters. The average is eight.
  • Your email password is the most valuable because if they get into this they can get into the rest, so make sure this one is different to all your other passwords.
  • Use a password manager.

My last top tip… You know when you are on social media and once of those posts comes up asking for your porn star name if you take the street you lived, and your dog’s name? These posts were originated by hackers to get personal information from you. They then use this information to log into your accounts. Don’t complete them any more. Please.