How to stop hackers and fraudsters stealing your money

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Internet hackers can attack at random and virtually whenever they want, that’s why it pays to do everything possible to ensure your online accounts are safe.

Whether you’re logging on to your email account, phone or internet banking your best defence against hackers and fraudsters is to have a strong password.

Technically no password is hacker-proof but there are measures you can take to improve your password and make sure it’s as strong as it can be.

Experts from Heritage Bank have shared their top tips for safer and stronger passwords so the crooks can’t crack your bank account.

If you’re still using 1234567 to secure your accounts it’s probably best you go and get a pad and a pen because in the time it would take you to read this sentence a hacker could already be in your account helping themselves to your money.

If you have a seven-character password like the one above it would take hackers .29 milliseconds to crack it…that’s right .29 milliseconds.

Now, if you added just one more character to that password it would take a hacker five hours.
But if you continued to add more characters to your password you could increase the time by five days (nine characters), four months (10 characters), 10 years (11 characters) and 200 years (12 characters).

However, it’s not as easy as simply creating a nine-word password going from one to nine because hackers could crack that 431 times during the time it takes you to blink.

Using a common, easy or lazy password is a big no-no.

But if you start getting even slightly creative you can increase the strength of your password even more.

By mixing up numbers and letters your password can become strong enough to stump hackers for 40 years.

Password is one of the most common passwords you can create but if you were to make it P@ssw0rD, you could potentially make it hacker proof for 14 years.

Just remember that the bigger the password the better and that by throwing in a few different characters and upper and lower case letters could be the difference between a hacker stealing your money or being blocked for hundreds of years.

Heritage Bank would also encourage you to use unique passwords, keep software up to date and not share your account information with anyone.

Oh, and one last thing, never use your date of birth for your pin. It may be easy to remember but it’s also one of the first things any friend or foe will try.

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Afolabi Adesola is a Nigerian based financial journalist that has the passion for demystifying figures to tell clearer business stories.
During her free time, she reads journals and novels. She loves watching movies, and Nigerian sitcoms.
She co-runs a mini NGO #ProjectSALT, setup in support of today’s African Lady.

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