15 November 2017

How’s your password hygiene doing?

Bescherm je identiteit, gebruik uniek een wachtwoord

Do ever stop and think about the value of your passwords? This is something we should do more often, because your passwords protect some very personal information. They are the gatekeepers of your online identity. In this article you read more on this online identity and why you should protect it a bit better. Join us in the campaign week on this theme from 20 to 24 November at the university.

An identity is that which is private and personal about someone. They are expressions and interests, but also personal documents such as photos or data you collect for work. All these bits and pieces of information don’t have much value separately, but combined they become very valuable to cybercriminals that want something from you.

You are more valuable than you think

Even if the account to your sport club website doesn’t seem valuable, the personal information it contains could be a stepping-stone to an other account or website. For example, because you use the same password for multiple accounts. Just have a look at the TV show Hunted. In this clip (37:32 – 42:44, view time 5 minutes) you not only see how cybercriminals have operated these past years, but a digital detective explains how little we do to prevent hackers from accessing our data.

Basic hygiene

If you want to protect your online identity, start with your passwords.

  • Don’t fill in your password everywhere. Only do this at reliable, verifiable websites. And never share your password with others.
  • Use unique passwords. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts.
  • Don’t write your password down. Not even on a file on your computer.

No matter how obvious these tips may be, they are the basis to a good habit and a personal digital hygiene. You know, the Dutch are not very careful when it comes to their passwords. Have a look at this other clip from Hunted (43:59 – 46:02, view time 2 minutes).

Come to the campaign week

Theft or abuse of an online identity is sadly a common phenomenon. Protecting your online identity is for a large part your own responsibility. Luckily, there are many relatively easy steps you can take to prevent someone using your identity. The university is paying extra attention to this theme in a special campaign week from 20 to 24 November.

During this campaign week, experts on information security and privacy are ready to help you with this, answering questions and provide advice. Come and visit them at one of the information stands at your faculty. Join us and learn what you can do yourself to protect your online identity.

Visit uu.nl/work-safely for the schedule of the information stands near you and for more information on the campaign week.