This weekend, millions of us will be frantically rushing out to buy flowers, chocolates, cards and more to the woman who delivered us into the world. Yes. It’s almost Mother’s Day in the UK. It’s THIS Sunday. March 15 (calm down the US, yours is May 10). But maybe you forgot? Just like maybe you’ll forget your password to let you login to buy her some flowers or authorise the payment? But even then, your mother is still cleaning up the mess. And it’s all down to her maiden name.

Incredibly, even now in 2015, plenty of us are still relying on our mother – and specifically, her maiden name – to help bail us out of sticky security moments online. Think about it. How many times have YOU used your mother’s maiden name as a security authentication online? Chances are you may have even done it when you ordered those Mother’s Day flowers, either to recover lost login details or complete a transaction…

But is it a reliable authentication? That depends. It’s reliably memorable to the user authenticating themselves, certainly. But as far as online security goes? It’s information that can be easily obtained online, and which when coupled with a hacker whose computer can crack your lazy password in around 180 seconds, it’s best to ensure your online security is looked after by more than just mother. She’s done enough, don’t you think?

So, give her a break. Always use a randomly-generated, complex eight-character alphanumeric password to beef up your resilience to any breach – with a potential 218,340,105,584,896 permutations, it’ll take a computer 14 years to crack it. Apply a different password to each site you use. Change these regularly. And always store them in an encrypted format. Fortunately, you don’t need your mother: password managers can do all this hard work for you, and even better, with just a few clicks. Super secure. Super simple.

Trust us: mother approves. Now get those flowers sent off…