University? Twitter? LinkedIn? How many digital accounts do you have? And more importantly, do you use a different password for each?
What’s the issue?
We all have many different sites and systems to log into, so it’s very tempting to use the same password for all.
We’ve seen an increasing number of data dumps containing University email addresses and passwords recently, and while these have been inaccurate and historical in nature, they do represent a growing risk.
What could happen?
If you re-use a password or use a similar password (e.g. password1, password2, password3) across multiple sites, and just one of those sites is hacked, then all the sites you access with that password are at risk! This is what happened with the recent National Lottery breach!
What should I do?
Never re-use a password. Use a unique password for every site, every time!
This does mean you will have a lot of different passwords to manage. Fortunately there are Password Manager tools that can help. These provide a secure place to store all the different account login details you have and many will also create random, secure passwords for you to use!
How do I know if my password has been compromised?
If you suspect that your account has been hacked, change your password immediately and inform the service provider. For your University password, this is the Service Desk!
You can also check HaveIBeenPwned? This secure site will search data dumps, find out if your account has been compromised, and if so, how.
And last but not least…
If you haven’t already done so, please complete the University’s Information Security training. This mandatory training will help give you an understanding of security risks and what you can do to help.
Access the training at https://training.abdn.ac.uk/login/index.php.