A password is no longer enough to secure your information or data or prevent access to your many online accounts. A ‘password’ implies a single word without spaces; a ‘passphrase’ is often longer and encourages the use of spaces in between words – a great way to improve complexity. There are other reasons as to why passphrases are better than passwords:
In addition to this, we would always recommend a credential manager to store this information securely. They can also be used to generate a unique passphrase for each account.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is the process by which a person proves their identity to gain access to information or data using more than one authentication method. This can be achieved by combining different credentials from multiple categories which often includes;
Whilst multi-factor authentication has been a feature in certain industries such as banking (in the form of One-Time-Passwords or OTP) for a few years now, a large number of home users are yet to adopt this improved security method.
When a sample group were asked in a recent study why they did not use MFA 41% said inconvenience was the primary reason (source University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University study).
With the addition to authentication apps for mobile devices, MFA is now easier and more efficient than ever before. To see which online services currently offer two-factor/multi-factor authentication check out this website twofactorauth.org.
Ransomware first hit the headlines back in 2013 with several variants since, each becoming more and more sophisticated. The bad news is that there is a new variant which has been recently released that is even worse than previous versions.
“Locky” – the nickname of the latest strain will not only rename your files so that they have the extension .locky but like all ransomware variants it will encrypt them first making them inaccessible to the end-user. It has been known to target images, videos and Office documents first before moving onto to other file types. It might also target data stored on other machines via network drives.
The main source of this threat seems to be via spam emails with seemingly safe attachments, often Word documents which contain malicious code. Once this malware has hit the desktop background will typically be altered to display a message with decryption instructions that state it is possible to make a payment to these criminals in order to obtain the decryption key that could be used to unscramble these files.
It is generally accepted that paying the ransom is not an option as you cannot guarantee that you will receive a decryption key or that it will indeed work. That leaves the option of restoring from a recent backup once the machine is free of this malware. Most antivirus products will detect the latest ransomware but we would recommend using an award-winning ESET product to ensure that your machine is fully cleaned.
In terms of prevention, ensuring that your antivirus software is up-to-date and that you have a robust backup procedure in place will help in the event that you are hit. Always be wary of spam emails containing hyperlinks and/or email attachments, particularly if they come from an unknown source.
To find out how we can protect your computer, Click here.
This Saturday 12th March EDIT will be supporting YMCA by taking part in Sleep Easy.
The aim of Sleep Easy is to raise funds and awareness in order to change lives of vulnerable young people.
We will be spending a night sleeping rough in Exeter at Princesshay. A token gesture to what it's really like to really sleep rough, by raising money at the Exeter based Sleep Easy, we know that we can help, if only just a little bit, whilst also giving money to YMCA who we know will put it to good use.
There's going to be live entertainment and the event will feature a secure venue, great company and cardboard mattresses.
We are sleeping rough so other won't have to!! Please donate or even come and join us in order to beat youth homelessness in Exeter!!
To donate, please visit our JustGiving page.
To find out how to join us at Sleep Easy Exeter, please visit YMCA Exeter's Website.
Our ambition this year is to raise sufficient funds so that they can purchase a much needed new emergency response motorcycle to add to their fleet.
This is rare opportunity to visit the private beautiful stretch of the River Otter at Deer Park where you will find a hive of wildlife activity and recently Devon's first Beaver population.
Meet The Deer Park's Estate Manager of 80 acres, Oli Forster, plus have exclusive access to the rivers and the restoration of the Georgian Walled garden.
Meet the Deer Park's new Executive Chef Andy Storey and learn about charcuterie plus their award winning meats and double rosette food.
Experience a wood fired cooking demonstration and feast on award winning range of wood fired Pizzas.
Enough to whet the whistle?
18:00 arrival Drinks at the clay oven
18:15 River Tour- Oli Estates Manager to provide a tour of the beautiful River Otter, Kingfisher Nests, Otters, Beaver Hunt. The river project - learn about river husbandry, bank protection, environmental sustainability, habitats and river authorities.
19:00 Walled Garden tour including the Cider tree. Fresh cider pumped from the side of a tree! - check out the:
Q & A on fruit growing, salads and greenhouses, tips and advice. Pick some produce!!
19:30 Pizzas in the Park
Cooking demonstration of The Deer Park's wood fired Bushman clay oven.
19:45 Deer Park amazing pizzas - (4 varieties of wood fired pizzas) and dessert pizzas. Social and networking.
20:15 Auction prizes & raffle
20:45 Optional Tree House tour and Summer House tour
The venue will also open a bar so that drinks can be purchased.
The cost to attend this event is only £10.00 per person with all proceeds will be going to Devon Blood Bikes.
I hope you can join us, this promises to be a really enjoyable evening.
A recent Ofcom survey shows that shoppers in the UK spend more online compared to every other major country
UK consumers spend on average £1,083 on Internet shopping per year, with the second highest being Australia, which comes in at £842 per year.
Britons are also getting more and more into using mobile devices to shop online. We are also downloading more data to mobile devices compared to the rest of the world. In December 2011, UK mobile users downloaded an average of 424MB of data per user, compared to the average Japanese usage of 392MB.