How many online accounts do you have? Most of us have dozens across various banks, social media, online stores, music, video and other services and businesses can have hundreds. Not surprisingly, most people tend to use the same couple of passwords across those sites, but if you use the same password more than once, it creates risks for your other accounts.

How to check if your email is safe

Just as a quick test, you can use the site Have I Been Pwned to see if your email address has been found on any of the thousands of hacks that have taken place in recent years. If you’ve been online for some years then you’ll find that many major services including MySpace, Kickstarter and LinkedIn have been affected. And, if you still use the same password, then there are plenty of hackers out there who run your old account details against other services to see if they match, so they can hijack your other accounts.

Even if your email address hasn’t been exposed in one of these hacks, to minimise the risk, you need to use a different password for each service. While that might sound like a pain, you can use your browser to remember and manage passwords, or mobile apps to provide a safe list of them. Alternatively we have some great products we use in-house that allow team sharing and individual account access – just drop us a line if you would like more info.

You might also want to use different email accounts, with your main account for essential services and a secondary account for your general sites like social media or forums. These services are easier for hackers to breach, and if you have a different email address, there’s less risk.

Finally, you need to keep your PC secure as hackers send out millions of snooping attacks every day against known weaknesses in operating systems, your apps and websites. If one of these gets through it can send whatever you type to the hacker. So, ensuring that every staff member has up to date online security, knows what a phishing email is and what other threats are will help you have a safer online Christmas.

If you’re worried about password security or the safety of your PC or other devices this Christmas, do get in touch to see how we can help.