Let’s get you a quality password.
Did you know, 60% of business-related passwords fail to meet the bare minimum requirements? It’s a harsh reality that can cost your business unnecessary losses. There are multiple ways to create strong passwords to prevent yourself from cybercrime without hassle. Building a strong password is a critical step to protecting yourself online. Using long, complex, passwords is one of the easiest ways to defend yourself from cybercrime. No one is immune to cyber risk, but #BeCyberSmart and you can minimize your chances of an incident.
- Utilize a long passphrase. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) guidance, you should consider using the longest password or passphrase permissible. For example, you can use a passphrase such as a news headline or even the title of the last book you read. Then add in some punctuation and capitalization.
- Don’t make passwords easy to guess. Do not include personal information in your passwords, such as your name or pets’ names. This information is often easy to find on social media, making it easier for cybercriminals to hack your accounts.
- Avoid using common words. Substitute letters with numbers and punctuation marks or symbols. For example, @ can replace the letter “A” and an exclamation point (!) can replace the letters “I” or “L.”
- Think outside the box. Use phonetic replacements, such as “PH” instead of “F”. Or make deliberate, but obvious misspellings, such as “enjin” instead of “engine.”
- Keep your passwords on the down-low. Don’t tell anyone your passwords and watch for attackers trying to trick you into revealing your passwords through email or calls. Every time you share or reuse a password, it chips away at your security by opening more ways with which it could be misused or stolen.
- Unique account, unique password. Having different passwords for various accounts helps prevent cybercriminals from gaining access to these accounts and protects you in the event of a breach. It’s important to mix things up— find easy-to-remember ways to customize your standard password for different sites.
- Double your login protection. Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) to ensure that the only person who has access to your account is you. Use it for email, banking, social media, and any other service that requires logging in. Enable MFA by using a trusted mobile device, such as your smartphone, an authenticator app, or a secure token—a small physical device that can hook onto your key ring.
- Utilize a password manager to remember passwords. The most secure way to store all your unique passwords is by using a password manager. With just one password, a computer can create and save passwords for every account that you have – protecting your online information, including credit card numbers and their three-digit codes, answers to security questions, and more.
After choosing a password that’s easy to remember but difficult for others to guess, do not write it down and leave it someplace where others can find it. Writing it down and leaving it on your desk, next to your computer, or, worse, taped to your computer, is just asking for someone to access your data and essentially you created a password to protect nothing. So let’s not do that. We’re trying to create strong passwords to prevent cybercrime, let’s not make it easier for them. Do not tell anyone your passwords, and watch for attackers trying to trick you through phone calls or email messages (phishing) requesting that you reveal your passwords. (See this related article: Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks for more information.) There’s no guarantee that these techniques will prevent an attacker from learning your password, but they will make it more difficult.
Remember, Winsor Consulting is here for you. Whether you are a small business or a larger business, we are ready to help make your day-to-day tasks easier as well as safer.