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The Love Bug – business contingencies

Fifteen years ago the Love Bug virus cost the global economy billions.  Around 10% of UK businesses were affected in one way or another.  Even the House of Commons closed down its internet facility

The title tapped into some clever psychology.  If you had an email from someone you knew with an ‘I love you’ subject line, the chances of you being intrigued enough to open it were pretty high.  Therefore, when you saw the e-mail message “I LOVE YOU” and opened it, it copied and sent out the same message to all your contacts in your Outlook list.  Your contact, who didn’t know what was happening, opened the document only to have most of their files overwritten.  As did (obviously) your good self!

We know that protecting our data is important yet even in the era of Cloud Computing, we still don’t consider it properly.  Very nearly 10% of computer users still use the password ‘password’ or 12345678 to secure their computers.  Just over 90% use a password from the top 1000 all time favourites.

Really?  Online hackers can bypass a 6 character password in about 5 minutes.

I have always been irritated by the need to remember different passwords for my banking, computers, online retail accounts etc etc etc.  I’m sure you do too.  So when my blog site developer, Stevie Graham insisted on a 16 character password with lowercase, uppercase, numbers and symbols, he received a couple of words that can only be written in uppercase, numbers, symbols and lowercase!

Responding to my ‘screwed up in disgust’ face, he suggested that I use a ‘Pass Phrase’, a sentence that I would be likely to remember.  I still thought it was a bit over the top but I chose the title of one of my all time favourite songs.  Now it would be daft if I shared that with you, but in the spirit of the time of year, this is what my favourite love song looks like.


If you’d like to play along …. What would your favourite love song look like?

The air that I breathe

PS.  More importantly, the big question is WHEN are you going to sort your passwords?

PPS Don’t use your favourite love song if you have posted it here!!!!


  1. Telling you my favourite love song would be sure to give away my age, but I can tell you about the aggravation and embarrassment caused by having my email hacked. It happened to me a few weeks ago and I’m still assuring my contacts that it wasn’t really me who sent them a link telling them it was time to lose weight! It sure was time though for me to change my password!


  2. I think also, be careful about using replacement letters / symbols that bear a resemblance to those actual letters. Brute-force password crackers have those characters mapped in too! but anyway, fave song with the year and band to make it more secure l1v3f0r3v3r_1994_0a515


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