E for Equip

Protect your access. Don't let them in.

Weak passwords cannot be trusted

The personal data you hold on your computer, smartphone or tablet is a valuable commodity. Think, for example, of the credit card details you logged with an online shop, or your online banking login data. This makes it all the more important to protect your access to these sites. That’s why you should use only strong passwords to log in.

Key points to remember:

Protect your computer and mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.) against unauthorised access, and lock your screen if you are not actively using your device.

Use secure passwords (at least 12 characters long, consisting of numbers, both upper and lower case letters, and special characters).

Don’t use the same password everywhere, but create different passwords for different applications.

If possible, activate two-factor authentication.

Keep it simple? Not with passwords!

“Strong passwords consist of at least 12 characters, containing upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and at least one special character.”

Oliver Hirschi, lecturer and head of “eBanking – but secure” at HSLU, has a trick for setting strong passwords that are easy to remember.

iOS devices

Under Settings/Touch ID & Code, you can protect your device via a numerical code or password, and can also store your fingerprints. An iPhone X can be configured for face recognition under Settings/Face ID & Code. Data is automatically stored in encrypted form on all iPhones and iPads.

Android devices

Depending on your device, you can set a PIN code under Settings/Security. You should also activate encryption for all your data, including that held on auxiliary storage media if necessary. Go to Encryption & Login Data.

Securing devices against unauthorised access

Protect all your devices by controlling access to them. With notebooks, tablets and smartphones in particular, the risk of loss or theft is considerably greater than with your home PC.

Secure passwords

Passwords are still the most common keys in an electronic environment, protecting access to sensitive and private data. Observing a few simple rules will improve your security considerably.

6 rules for a secure password

  • Use at least 12 characters
  • Use numbers, upper and lower-case letters, and special characters
  • Don’t use any key sequences, such as ‘asdfgh’ or ‘45678’
  • Don’t use any words from a known language, i.e. the password shouldn’t make any sense
  • Don’t use the same password for all your applications
  • Please do not save your password anywhere unless it is encrypted

Read on for an easy way to create – and then remember – a secure password:

  • Take a sentence that is easy for you to remember, and create your password from first letters and numbers:
    My daughter Tamara Meier was born on January 19!
  • This results in a password that consists of random characters, but is still easy to remember:

Password manager

A password manager saves all your passwords in encrypted form, so you only ever have to remember a single password:

Two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication provides extra security on top of a secure password. With this process a second, independent security component is requested in addition to the first. This might be a code sent to your mobile phone, or generated directly on your device.

OK with passwords?

Then go straight on to our next S-U-P-E-R tip.

To ‘R for Reduce’

Further information and contact points

Contact Points

Swiss Crime Prevention and the cantonal and municipal police forces (www.skppsc.ch)

«eBanking – but secure!» (EBAS) (www.ebas.ch)

National Cybersecurity Centre NCSC (www.ncsc.admin.ch)

iBarry – the internet security platform (www.ibarry.ch)

Cybercrimepolice (www.cybercrimepolice.ch)