How often do you hear about people sharing their password either with their partners or friends? In some relationships, it’s done for convenience. For example, one partner may do all the banking and it saves time just knowing the password instead of having to wait for the person to be with them. In other relationships, it’s a sign of trust and that you have nothing to hide.

Across the various universities, there are often reports of students sharing their university usernames and passwords with friends so that they too can access the WiFi. The problem with password sharing is that when you share it with one person, you cannot control who else gains access to it thereafter. And while you may trust the person that you share your password with, you cannot guarantee that that person will protect your password the same way you do.

Which is why it’s strongly recommended that you NEVER share your password with anyone.

“It will never happen to me”

You may think that you are not a target. But, by being a UCT staff member or student, you have access to the university network which carries lots of confidential information that cybercriminals are itching to get their hands on.

And even though you may not have access to sensitive UCT information, cybercriminals know how to get to the high value information. All they need is a password.

Similarly, with your personal information, when you give someone access to your mobile device, they have access to everything on it. And, let’s be frank, our phones are brimming with confidential information that cybercriminals would love to get their hands on. Additionally, if you use your mobile device for UCT business – such as managing your mailbox or university social media accounts, then cybercriminals who access your device have yet another method to conduct their illegal activities.

What should I do?

The cardinal rule is to treat your password like you would your bank PIN. That means never share it with anyone. Not even your friend that you knew since creche and continue stay in contact with via WhatsApp. If in doubt, ask yourself: “Would I share my toothbrush?” If your answer is no, then you are on the right path. If your answer is yes… well, then you may have other issues…

Just remember that the more people you share your password with, the more problems you can encounter when it comes to your digital footprint and keeping the UCT network secure.

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