Think hard about passwords

Are your computers satisfactorily password protected? Similarly, if someone got hold of your computer, could they easily access your bank account? If you have memorised usernames and passwords, are bank accounts still adequately protected?

Passwords have become a pain and it is very tempting to use the same one for everything. This, obviously, is unwise. Similarly, it is unwise to choose passwords that can be easily detected by someone who happens to know your birth date or something of this kind.

You might like to think about choosing some system for passwords. It requires some ingenuity. Start by thinking of something that is of significance to you. If you were keen on rugby you might like to choose the first names of All Blacks.

Another thing, if you want a pin number and want to choose a date, such as 1987, it is a reasonable assumption, for those trying to get your pin number, that dates will start with 1 (or more recently 2). This means someone trying to get your pin number has only 999 options to try instead of 9999. Try reversing the number – 7891.

If access to your password or pin number would be a serious matter, be choosier about your selection. Sometimes, the passwords and pin numbers are only for the benefit of the business selling to you. It wouldn’t really matter if someone else got your password. If this is the case, you can use more readily remembered passwords or pin numbers for these organisations.