Spam attacks and hacking Grrrr – can’t you tell the kids are on holiday?

by Mark Alexander

10:00 AM, 23rd July 2011
About 9 years ago

Spam attacks and hacking Grrrr – can’t you tell the kids are on holiday?

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Spam attacks and hacking Grrrr – can’t you tell the kids are on holiday?

Earlier this week I wrote a Blog about my my Twitter account getting hacked. Changing the password fixed it. Since then spam attacks on Property118.com have increased 2000%. Fortunately, none of the attacks have penetrated our security at Property118.com but it has increased resource requirements for our moderators as they still need to read through the blocked comments.

How many of your fiends have become Viagra sales people recently?  I had two direct Tweets from my followers last night selling the stuff, unbeknown to them of course!

It’s very convenient to have one password for several online accounts- I suspect most people do it- but my advice now is to have a different one for every account, just in case. It’s not that difficult to be a bit creative. Most people base their passwords on memorable digits such as a PIN number, phone number or date of birth plus a word such as a family member of pets name. That’s fine as a combination of numbers and letters, especially eight characters or more, is generally pretty secure. However, if you use the same password for all accounts the hackers only need to get one and they’ve got them all.

People who use just one password across multiple accounts do so for convenience and because they are worried about forgetting them. An alternative might be to use the same numbers across all accounts but add a different word. For example, your password may be your child date of birth (e.g. 010101) plus your pets name (e.g. wulfie). The online systems will tell you this is secure and they’re right providing you don’t use 010101wulfie as your password for everything.

Variations on passwords

To keep your password memorable why not stick to a basic theme, e.g. child date of birth of 010101 plus something memorable about the account?

Some examples are below:-

Facebook:  010101fbk or 010101face or 010101friends or 010101picshare

Bank: 010101bank or 010101nwestrbs or 010101money or 010101cash

Twitter: 010101tweet or 010101twit or 010101tweeps or 010101tweets

Have you been hacked or seen an increase in spam attacks?

Please tell us your story and what you did about it.

What suggestions do you have for creating memorable but specific passwords for each of your accounts?

For obvious reasons, please don’t be too specific and don’t share your passwords here.

And if your User name is USERNAME and your password is PASSWORD please, for your own sake, change it! It’s the first thing any hacker will try.

 


Mark Alexander
Mark and his family have been investing in property since 1989, initially in the Norwich area but more recently across the length and breadth of England. Mark created Property118.com as a social network for landlords with a vision of becoming the UK’s largest online property investor directory.
Mark’s experiences and strategies as a landlord are shared here

Mark’s Articles



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Comments

10:23 AM, 23rd July 2011
About 9 years ago

there are utilities that will store all your passwords for you and you just need to remember one to get at them. Don't lose that and remember to back up, though! http://passwordsafe.sourceforge.net/ is one such.


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