We trust many organisations with our data. These organisations are continually under attack, and are trying their utmost to keep our data secure. The National Childbirth Trust (NCT), known for supporting new and expectant parents, has recently reportedly suffering a data breach. This affected the registration details of over 15,000 expectant parents. Even this caring organisation is suffering from external attack, with hackers trying to steal data.
As part of the NCTs incident response, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the Police have been informed. Email addresses, usernames and encrypted passwords were compromised. No other information is believed to have been put at risk.
When the breach was discovered, they contacted everyone affected. They advised them of the breach and suggesting that they change their username and passwords. This is good advice, and if you hear of an organisation being attacked, and you have an account with them or are a customer, it is good practice to go and change passwords immediately.
Many people still use the same or similar passwords for multiple accounts so changing your password is crucial for those that have been affected. Using complex passwords or an auto-generated password will help protect accounts.
There are several good providers, and services like LastPass will store all your passwords, and automatically generate complex passwords for you. The service also allows you to easily change passwords, and test password strength for existing passwords too. You can even share passwords within a group of people, but the people can use the service but don’t get to ‘see’ the password. Really clever. Take a look at www.lastpass.com. This added level of protection will help protect your information. If you would rather keep a track of your own passwords, make sure you use capitals and numbers within the password. Ensure that you use different passwords for all your accounts. Make sure passwords are at least 10 characters long. If the website/account allows, use a longer password.