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5 Computer Security Resolutions for 2014

Resolutions passwordsseem like a somber accompaniment to the excitement of the New Year. After all, who thinks it’s fun to celebrate 2014 by committing to the gym three times a week? Therefore we’ve tried to keep our five computer security resolutions slightly more fun.

1) Pick more fun passwords

It’s important to change your password at least once a year, because the longer you use one, the greater the chance that it has been compromised.

A great way to make a safe password is to pick something long but ridiculous, like YellowElephantBanana.

Because it’s so random, it won’t exist in a list of well-used passwords, which will make it harder for hackers. And because it’s long, brute force attacks won’t work.

Plus, it’s really easy to remember.

2) Associate your password with the service you’re using

It’s best practice to use different passwords for different online services. This is because if a website you’re using gets hacked, the criminals could try to use the login details they’ve stolen from that service to access your other accounts. Different passwords obviously prevent this.

However, remember many different passwords can be difficult.

I find it easiest to associate each password the service I’m using. So my Amazon password might be GiantJungleCat (the Amazon is “jungle”, and it’s a “giant” company), while an obvious Apple password could be SnowWhiteDontEatTheApple.

The passwords are obscure enough that no one will guess them (after all, it’s your unique mind that is making the association between the words and the service), but easy enough for you to remember them.

3) Delete SPAM emails

Most people ignore SPAM emails, but deleting them makes you feel like you’re king of their destiny. Try it – you’ll feel strangely empowered. It also ensures that any potentially dangerous files they might hold can’t be opened accidentally.

4) Turn on two-factor authentication

This may sound boring, but using two-factor authentication for web accounts dramatically increases your security. And when you do it, you feel a bit like an action hero from a futuristic movie. Learn more here

5) Have fun (responsibly)

Like this list, it’s important to be responsible when having fun online. This year, ensure you don’t get carried away by avoiding downloads from unknown websites, don’t click offers that sound too good to be a true and avoid anything offering pictures of Justin Bieber naked: http://blogs.norman.com/2012/for-consumption/justin-bieber-naked-the-modern-malware.

Oh, and remember to have a happy New Year!

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