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Spam, Passwords & Security

November 21, 2016

 

Nearly every day it seems someone gets some sort of spam. It's either via e-mail accounts, or via social media sites, like Twitter and Facebook. The latter is partially due to people's social media accounts being hacked and the hackers sending, at times, quite unpleasant messages together with disguised links to websites which contain viruses, trojans, etc. Due to the website URL being disguised, if you click on the link, your computer will become infected, if you don't have anti-virus software installed, and firewalls turned on. When we see these spam messages on our social media accounts, we report them, as we ask friends/followers that they had sent them (which, as a rule, they haven't).


The problem with spammers is what they send - Not only can they link to unsafe websites (i.e. those which contain hidden viruses), but they can also send unpleasant messages too! These messages, and links to viruses, are being sent to children's accounts, as well as elderly people. Do we really want children seeing e-mails, tweets, links, etc that are of a more adult nature or panicking elderly people due to messages like "Someone is saying nasty things on-line about you"...??


One good way of preventing hackers getting access to your social media profile is by using a random password (i.e. not a common word, phrase, dates, etc). If you use a name that you are familiar with, a special date, common word, etc then your social media account is more likely to be accessed by a hacker, at some point. The best thing to do, is create a password that uses letters (both small and CAPITAL) and numbers together, in a random order. This is more secure than every day words, phrases, etc. Also, make the password as long you can - A 12 character random password is so much more harder to decipher, than an 12 character 'every day' password.


If you cannot think of a suitable password there are websites which can help you. If you go to these websites you can create a random password, to help protect your accounts better, and if you can, try having a few different passwords so that it makes it even harder for these trying to hack. Having random passwords makes our on-line world more secure, be they used for email accounts, social media websites, or even your bank's website!


Links:


•    Random Password Generator - http://www.pctools.com/guides/password/


•    Microsoft's Password Strength Checker - https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/security/pc-security/password-checker.aspx


•    Wikipedia: Password Strength - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Password_strength

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