Expert Opinion: Default Settings Putting Users At Risk

The National Cyber Security Centre is advising people to tweak default settings of connected devices to protect users against hackers.

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Barry McMahon
Barry McMahon , Senior Manager, Identity and Access Management
InfoSec Expert
March 3, 2020 10:32 am

The proliferation of connected devices mean that smart technology is now part of our everyday lives. People who fail to change default passwords open themselves up to unnecessary risks, predominately through hackers gaining control of their devices.

It may seem obvious, but based on the passwords that the NCSC recently revealed as being hacked most, the most secure passwords are long and randomly generated. However, these can be difficult to create and remember, resulting in password reuse across devices and online accounts. Poor password hygiene, whether it\’s failing to change default passwords or using weak or repeated credentials make users easy targets for hackers. Using a password manager kills two birds with one stone as they can be used to both generate and store unique passwords for every login. The username and password are then stored within a secure vault, where they\’re organized and encrypted for safekeeping and ease of access.

The truth is that everybody is at risk to hackers, but bringing connected devices into the home shouldn\’t make people feel unsafe. With smart technology set to become more widespread, consumers would be wise to tweak any default passwords enabled on devices. Using a password manager and turning on multi-factor authentication, where available, will help users improve their password hygiene, limit the risk of being hacked, and ultimately stay safe, secure, and improve security awareness.

Last edited 2 years ago by Barry McMahon
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