UK Politics

MP Nadine Dorries defends 'shared password' tweet

Nadine Dorries Image copyright PA

A Conservative MP has defended her cyber-security arrangements after revealing she shares her login passwords with all her staff.

Nadine Dorries said this included "interns on exchange programmes", triggering a backlash on Twitter.

In response, she said she was a backbench MP who did not have access to government documents.

The Mid Bedfordshire MP had been defending Conservative First Secretary of State Damian Green.

A Cabinet Office inquiry is examining claims pornography was found on a computer in Mr Green's Parliamentary office.

He denies watching or downloading pornography on his computer.

Ms Dorries was questioning a retired police officer's claim that Mr Green must have been responsible for material found on his computer.

She defended herself in subsequent tweets, saying her team were responding to hundreds of emails every day.

A fellow MP, Nick Boles, tweeted that he shared his password with his staff for the same reasons.

Ms Dorries later tweeted that she was "flattered" by people thinking she would have access to "government docs", adding: "Sorry to disappoint!"

Jim Killock, of the Open Rights campaign group, said: "On the face of it, Nadine Dorries is admitting to breaching basic data protection laws, making sure her constituents' emails and correspondence is kept confidential and secure. She should not be sharing her log-in with interns.

"More worryingly, it appears this practice of MPs sharing their log-ins may be rather widespread. If so, we need to know."

He urged MPs' staff and former staff to get in touch with his campaign "if they have knowledge about insecure data practices in MPs' offices".

How to create strong passwords

  • Use different letters, numbers and characters; use uppercase and lowercase letters
  • Change the letters in a phrase to numbers, for example h3ll0
  • Abbreviate a sentence by using the first letter of each word
  • Make passwords long
  • Avoid personal information like the names, addresses or birthdays of people you know
  • Avoid common passwords, for example letmein, abcd, 1234 or, most famously, password
  • Avoid keyboard patterns, for example qwerty
  • Do not reuse passwords
  • Do not write your password on a Post-It and stick it to your computer
  • Keep passwords safe with a trusted password manager

Source: Google Support

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