Home North East Passwords need strength not switching, says cyber expert

Passwords need strength not switching, says cyber expert

David Horn, director at CyberWhite

A cybersecurity expert from North East firm CyberWhite is challenging the myth that passwords should be changed regularly, rather that they should be strong enough to foil hackers.

Recent research from NordPass found that the most common password in the UK was ‘123456’, which was used 571,107 times, and took hackers around one second to crack.

Out of the top 15 most popular passwords in the UK, only ‘Liverpool’ took more than a second to crack, with hackers taking two seconds to work it out.

David Horn, director at CyberWhite suggests that if your password is so unusual it could defeat the hackers, you’d never need to change it at all.

David said: “It’s a common myth that you need to change your password every few months, but if you keep changing it to something easy to work out, it doesn’t make you any more secure.

“Instead, you should set it as something difficult to guess and pepper in numbers, capitals and special characters. Long and secure is the name of the game.

“A really good tip is to choose a song lyric or a line from a book or poem and customise it from there. For example, ‘Call me Ishmael’ (for a Moby Dick fan) could become ‘cAllm3I$hm4el’ and that would be much more difficult to hack than ‘Password1’.

“If you’re concerned about losing or forgetting your password, never write them down. Instead, you can invest in a password manager that will keep them all secure and in one place.

“Of course, if your password or account becomes compromised, you should change it immediately, but again make it something long and secure to make it as safe as possible.”

CyberWhite is a digital security consultancy firm with offices in Middlesbrough and Sunderland.