Neighbourhood Watch joins fight against cyber crime

The national network is encouraging residents to adopt strong passwords by following three simple steps.

The Neighbourhood Watch network is urging people to adopt strong passwords.

A campaign that encourages people to protect their passwords has been launched by the UK's Neighbourhood Watch network.

Residents are urged to follow the guidance and then encourage three of their neighbours to do the same.

The Protect your Pa$$W0rD campaign, which lasts for four weeks, focuses on three simple steps that anyone can take to improve their online security.

These steps are:

1. Create a separate password for your email account

Having a strong, separate password for your email means that if cyber criminals steal the password for one of your less important accounts, they can’t use it to access your email account.

2. Use 3 random words

The three random words initiative is designed to make passwords harder to crack. Examples provided by the UK's National Cyber Security Centre include coffeetrainfish and walltinshirt.

3. Turn on two-factor authentication (2FA)

2FA provides a way of 'double checking' that you really are the person you are claiming to be. For example, a bank might ask you to provide a 'second factor', which is something that only you can access, when you attempt to log into your account. Often, this will be a code that's sent to you by text message.

With 1 in 5 people in the UK estimated to be a victim of cyber crime, John Hayward-Cripps, CEO of Neighbourhood Watch Network, said online security has never been more important. He said:

“You wouldn’t leave your front door open when you leave your house for criminals to walk right in.
"Having weak passwords is like leaving your digital front door open for cybercriminals to steal all your personal data and images.
"But just as there are easy steps we can take to keep our homes secure, there are also easy steps we can take today to keep our lives online secure.”

Mr Hayward-Cripps said the Protect your Pa$$W0rD campaign was designed to "cut through the noise" and outline three quick steps that are easy to follow.

He said:

“We want to simplify the confusion surrounding online security and show how quick and easy it can be, so people feel empowered to act and seek support without embarrassment.
"As a well established, hyper-local and trusted community-based charity, we are also asking people to proactively support their neighbours and friends by sharing these 3 simple actions with a least 3 others.”

For more information about the Protect your Pa$$W0rD campaign, click here.

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