Protect patient data with a perfect password
Every year New Zealanders lose millions of dollars and private information as a result of using weak passwords or reusing passwords across multiple accounts. Last year, tech publication ZDNet listed ‘123456’, ‘password’ and ‘12345678’ as some of the worst passwords used in 2020.
Did you know that the health sector is in the top five industries for cyber-attacks? It’s because the data we hold is sensitive and is therefore more valuable to hackers. A hacker could cause significant damage if they figured out your password. Not only could they lock you out from accessing patient data, they could also read deeply personal and private details about a patient’s health situation.
CERT NZ recommends that all passwords are long, strong and unique – but there’s no need to try and tackle one of those complex combinations of letters, symbols and numbers. Opt for a passphrase instead to create the perfect password.
A passphrase is four or more random words. It could be a fun phrase or silly sentence, for example, ‘popcornwithbutterisbest’ or just list a bunch of stuff that’s around you, ‘staplemousebatterybag’. These passwords pass the test because they are long (15 or more characters) and just as strong as a complex password. They’re also much easier to remember and use.
Your passwords need to be unique too, meaning use a different password for each online account. If an attacker gets access to one of your accounts, they’ll often try that same password on your other accounts too. So, if you have a different password on each account, the attacker won’t get far.
How you store your passwords is another key step to being password perfect. If you aren’t using one already, keep your data safe with a password manager.
Patients all around New Zealand put their trust in health professionals and the health system, so act today to make sure your passwords are perfect – it’s as easy as pie!