South Yorkshire Police are urging people to “think random” when setting passwords.
The new advice follows research by the National Cyber Security Centre, which suggests that some 32 per cent of people in Yorkshire and the surrounding areas have shared their passwords with others.
Cybercrime specialists are urging the public to remain vigilant online in order to protect themselves from identity fraud.
Important accounts such as email, social media and banking should each have strong, separate passwords.
GCHQ advises that passwords should be comprised of three random words and encourages the use of password managers such as Dashlane or LastPass, which secure accounts with a random string of numbers, letters and symbols.
Detective Inspector Stephen Leach of South Yorkshire Police said, “The easiest way to protect yourself from becoming a victim of cybercrime is to set a password that is random and difficult to crack, but not that difficult that you have to write it down and compromise its security.”
“The important element is making passwords random, using a different one for each site and never sharing your passwords.”
Although use of letters, numbers and symbols is still advised, it has been suggested that these passwords can be overly complicated to remember, leading people to write them down and compromise their security.
To test the strength of your password, visit https://howsecureismypassword.net/.