At Meta we deal with account login details for many clients, some are well secured but many are not.

It is really important to protect yourself online and having a good password system can help with this. It can seem quite daunting at first but once you’re up and running it will become second nature. A New Zealand government organisation, CERT NZ, was established to provide assistance in matters such as these. And they are there for all New Zealanders, from your dear old Granny through to the likes of Fonterra.

Here are a few tips from them:

  1. Keep your devices and your apps up-to-date.
    When you’re alerted to an update for your device or one of your apps, don’t ignore it — install it as soon as possible. Updates aren’t just about adding new features. They’re also about fixing vulnerabilities in a device or an app that attackers could find and use to gain access to your system.
  2. Use a different password for every online account you create.
    We all have so many online accounts now that it’s become hard to keep track of all of the passwords we need for them. To combat this, many of us use the same password for all of our accounts or stick to two or three different ones that we use over and over. The problem with this is that if an attacker gets access to one of your account passwords, it often gives them access to many of your other accounts as well.
  3. Turn on two-factor authentication.
    Two-factor authentication (2FA) is another way that you can help to protect your online accounts from being hacked. You can choose to have a code sent or generated on your device, like your phone, that you can use to authenticate who you are every time you log in. That way, even if someone gets access to the account password, if they don’t have your phone to receive the code they can’t get into your accounts.
  4. Make your password long and strong.
    Sentences make the best passwords because they’re easy to remember. A string of four or more words is just as strong as a 10 character password that uses a mix of numbers, letters and symbols.
  5. Don’t use personal information to create your passwords,
    Personal information is easy to find online, especially if you use social media. Details about you like your date of birth, your address and even your pet’s name are only a few clicks away. They’re the first thing attackers check when they’re trying to hack into other people’s accounts. So if you share pictures of your dog online, make sure you don’t use your dog’s name as your password too.
  6. Keep them safe, use a password manager.
    If you’re worried about remembering your passwords, try using a password manager. This will store and manage your passwords for you. The password manager will be the only account you need to remember login details for. Meta can recommend:
    KeePassXCMiniKeePass (iOS) and KeePass2Android

For more information visit the CERT NZ website.

If you have any other questions on password security talk to your favourite Meta team member.