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Why having a strong password isn’t enough to secure your account

By Jon Hunt, cyber services delivery manager at Jisc

Criminals always find a way to take advantage of disasters. In the case of COVID-19, there has been a surge in phishing emails and online scams by nefarious individuals and organised gangs who want to steal data.

Now, more than ever, it’s important to set strong passwords and avoid reusing them across multiple accounts. Password managers make this much easier.

A good way to provide an extra level of security above and beyond passwords is to employ multi-factor authentication (MFA). Multi-factor authentication means using something in addition to a username and password to log into an account.

This might be an authenticator app on a mobile phone, or a security key that plugs into a USB port. With MFA switched on, even if criminals somehow manage to get hold of usernames and passwords, they still can’t log in without that ‘second factor’.


With MFA switched on, even if criminals somehow manage to get hold of usernames and passwords, they still can’t log in without that ‘second factor’.


Important benefits

Firstly, if attackers find they can’t access an account because of MFA, they’re far more likely simply to try another one, rather than spend time and effort attempting to bypass or remove MFA protections. Secondly, the process of implementing MFA can only heighten the security awareness of all users, which is of benefit to everyone, privately and professionally.

Read the full article here.


Read more on the GÉANT Cyber Security Month 2020: https://connect.geant.org/csm2020