The password is dead. Long live the password!

Should we abandon the password?

As the catalogue of hacked websites and databanks grows, we are warned over and over again to abandon passwords. But can we? Should we?

Life was so simple once. We worked for a company, we signed on in the morning with a password which gave us access to the company server and we went and did our job. The password itself was usually given to us by the IT manager or one of his minions (they always seemed to be "him" in those days). Nobody, pretty much, ever changed them or worried about anyone else accessing their own stuff. After all, the email was for office stuff wasn't it.

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Hidden dangers for business online

Where would your business be if your personal data, emails or computers fell into the hands of criminals?

The growing number of cases of Cryptolocker and similar lockouts suggest that the level of danger faced by businesses has moved to another level. Not content with damaging everything on your computer, sophisticated criminals are now demanding money with menaces as a way of blackmailing businesses. And many pay. The reason they do so is that they cannot affor to be without their systems for any length of time. We are so dependent on computers, we literally cannot do without them.

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10 personal security habits online

I sometimes feel that the providers of security products want us to feel terrified. After all, there isn't much of a story in "opened up my PC, did a good days work, then closed it down safely".

Thank goodness then for the wonderful phone calls from those helpful people at Windows telling me they have detected problems with my PC. If it wasn't for them and for the Nigerian Prince who has promised to come up with a wonderful new pot of money, I never knew I had, I would never have got round to recommending these 10 simple tips to staying safe online.

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10 Business Security Essentials

It's surprising how many businesses do not even practice security essentials. Practically every day, I hear someone asking us if they can use a simple password as the one we gave them is too hard to remember. When you see what they suggest, it turns out to be the name of their dog or their son or daughter. Ask them another question and the same password will almost certainly the one they use for everything. With other businesses, they will happily tell you that they have no policy of updating software or way of checking safe practices amongst their employees. All we would say to them is that you had better have access to a nice loan or a sizeable reserve of cash for when Cryptolocker gets you! We even know one business who kept a sizeable database of customer information, who, when asked what they would do if this was hacked and they faced a massive fine from the authorities, replied that they just did not care on the grounds that "it would never happen to them".

That will no doubt look good when they need to explain themselves to the data protection authorities.

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