Strong passwords help prevent unauthorized access and potential data breaches. But what makes a password strong? Here are our top password tips to help you protect your data.
Top 4 Password Security Tips
Password Security Tip #1: Use different passwords for different sites.
Many of us are guilty of re-using the same password (or a similar variant) across different accounts. Password recycling is often the result of trying to save us from remembering lots of passwords.
While it may seem convenient in the moment, it poses a huge security risk.
Cybercriminals know that password reuse is widespread. So, if an attacker gets your “reused” password, your other accounts and the information stored within them become vulnerable to attack. By using unique passwords everywhere, you reduce the amount of damage that can be caused by a compromised password.
An often-overlooked solution? Password managers. You can simplify security by having technology remember your passwords for you. As long as the password to the password manager isn’t Password123.
Password Security Tip #2: Create long, simple passwords.
No longer are the days of using complicated passwords with a ton of different special characters. Unless you are using a random password generator to create passwords no shorter than 15-20 characters. Creating a longer, more memorable password using simple word combinations is the safer bet.
Humans tend to use predictable patterns which makes seemingly secure passwords easy to crack (often within milliseconds). Using a string of four or more unrelated words to create a passphrase gives you the length and randomness makes it much more difficult for hackers to crack. Centuries, in fact.
Password Security Tip #3: Avoid using obvious personal information.
While it may seem easier to remember, it is not the best idea to use your birth month in your password. Any personal information easily found online (anniversary, town/city, address, relatives’ names, etc.) should never be used when creating a password.
When hackers are attempting to compromise your accounts, those things are some of the first that they attempt to use. As mentioned above, random = the better.
Password Tip #4: Keep your passwords private.
On occasion, someone may need to access an account of yours for a variety of reasons. If that person doesn’t need regular access to your account, it’s wise to change your password immediately once they are finished using it. This is important for a mixture of things. One, if they wrote down your password somewhere so they could remember it, other people could potentially gain access as well. Secondly, if their computer saved your log-in credentials, it could open your account to a wider range of hack attempts.
Also, when sharing passwords, it’s important to use a password manager or an encrypted email to ensure that it doesn’t get intercepted.
Stay Protected on the Front-End.
It may seem annoying to manage all of your passwords, however, following these few simple tips can save you from some of the headache and disturbance that comes with a compromised password. No matter how strong a password is, it does not provide any protection if it gets into the wrong hands.
If you ever suspect that your password has been compromised, change your passwords immediately.
Overall Tips for Protecting Your Small Business from Cyber Attacks