Tips to avoid a Mat Honan mess

How to create strong passwords

After hackers accessed journalist Mat Honan’s iCloud account, many are wondering ‘how can I make sure this doesn’t happen to me?’

Hackers managed to get into Honan’s iCloud account and wipe data from his MacBook, iPhone and iPad.

A combination of Apple and Amazon’s phone support services coupled with Honan’s lack of secure passwords lead to the hackers being able to achieve this.

We may not have a say in what Apple and Amazon get up to, but we can make sure our passwords are strong.


“To safeguard your online accounts, it is best to use a unique, complex passwords for all online accounts,” suggests Kaspersky Lab’s senior regional researcher David Emm.

You may think you’ve tricked everyone with a clever recycling system. A lot of people get into the habit of having a main password, then adding 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on to differentiate between them.

“This practice puts you at serious risk of identity theft,” adds Emm.


“Only by using strong, unique passwords across all of our sites can we keep ourselves safe. Clearly though, it’s difficult for most of us to memorise lots of different passwords and writing them down or storing them on your computer is as much of a security risk as using easy-to-remember weak passwords,” comments my1login CEO Mike Newman.

My1login is a highly secure encrypted vault for logins, passwords and pins. A password management service like this enables users to access passwords at anytime from any device with only one login.

The service creates long, complex passwords for each individual account, helping to increase online security.


If you don’t want to use a password management service, then follow the ‘8 4 rule’ – 8 characters minimum length, 1 lower case, 1 upper case, 1 number, 1 special character.

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