It has been estimated that there were over 10 million victims of some kind of cyber fraud in the UK last year. Added together they may have lost between £600m and £800m. These are seriously large numbers and some authorities believe the problem is continuing to get worse.
So, you should worry about this. You are not up against some 14-year-old kid in his bedroom in Russia trawling the Internet for unlucky punters to hack. No, this is organised crime and the syndicates involved are incredibly large and powerful. They are using millions of compromised computers around the world to steal passwords, login details, bank account and credit card information and more and they are very clever about it.
And yet the great British public still haven’t woken up to this. Another recent survey claimed that among the top ten passwords used by a random selection of households to protect a wide range of personal assets were abc123 and the word password itself.
Believe me, the organised crime syndicates can crack most passwords with enough time and determination but if you make it this simple, you deserve to get robbed.
The standard guidelines have been published many times. Do not use words found in the dictionary, a truly random selection of letters and numbers is always recommended – the longer the better and use mixed case (not all lower case letters or all UPPER case letters) and , if possible sprinkle in a couple of ‘special’ characters like , $%!@ or so. Following these guidelines to create a password at least 10 characters long will make it genuinely difficult to crack and the bad guys will move on to an easier target.