I was one of those customers whose Tesco bank account was frozen the other weekend due to a ‘sophisticated hack‘.
Fortunately, no funds were removed from my account and I wasn’t really inconvenienced in a big way as it’s not my main current account.
Like many people these days, I conduct most of my personal finance online so I was interested to read this article the other week on password strength and security.
There’s some decent advice on how to create robust passwords and I can’t be the only person here to admit that I can occasionally be quite lax with my passwords.
Anyway, in the article, there’s a ‘how secure is my password‘ link where you can check the strength of your passwords, so I gave it a go with one of my passwords (or rather, something very similar to my actual password) and got this result:
Bugger…time to change this password methinks to something a bit more complex and tougher to decipher. And no, this wasn’t my Tesco bank account password – that one, when I tested it, would apparently take 1 Month to crack.
Fortunately, another one of my passwords got this result:
I now need to try to change all my passwords so that I get a similar result!
The tough bit will be remembering them all!
I might have to start using a password manager but how safe are those? I might check out Dashlane, as featured in the article.
The most robust password however probably won’t be of any use if the bank itself is targeted, as in Tesco’s case, although who really knows? Maybe my password which would take a computer a month to crack did stop thieves from nicking money from my account, but equally, it could be that they didn’t get round to my account before Tesco plugged the breach.
This recent article revealed that perhaps other banks’ online security aren’t quite as resilient as they should be against hackers – Tesco isn’t even mentioned!
This is probably a good time to put forward the idea of having an emergency fund with a bank other than your main bank, to cover the event of your account be hacked.
But then, how safe is your emergency fund? That could be hacked too!
Cash under the mattress, anyone?