Passwords are your first and simplest line of defense
against criminals who want to use technology to steal from you and your
business. With a good password strategy in place, you have the equivalent of an
office building with bolted doors and locked windows. Without the right
password policies, virtually anyone can stroll in and have a look around.
To help ensure you're following the best practices for
passwords on your business and personal devices, here are five simple rules you
#1 Choose Complex and
Most hackers aren’t computer geniuses. Instead, they are
using simple pieces of software that either look for known software exploits or
try to “guess” passwords by attempting thousands of combinations per second.
These applications can figure out a simple password in a
matter of moments. However, a tougher password containing 10 or more
characters, capital letters, numbers, and special symbols could keep the
software busy for months or more. That’s enough time to detect the attack, and
far too long for a hacker to spend on your website.
#2 Create Unique
Passwords for Each Website, Account, or Application
Generating passwords that are long and complex is perhaps
the most important step you can take, but even a strong password shouldn’t be
shared between accounts. In other words, you should have one password for your
bank, another for your hosting company, a separate one for each email you
maintain, and so on.
By keeping different passwords you eliminate the possibility
that someone will crack or otherwise obtain one of your login credentials and
use it elsewhere.
#3 Don’t Keep Your
Passwords in a Place Where They’ll be Seen
Having strong and unique passwords won’t do you much good if
someone can simply walk into your office and see them on a printed sheet that's
hung on the wall. Likewise, they can’t offer you much in the way of protection
if you give them out to anyone who asks for them.
Keep your passwords stored in a secure place, like a safe or
encrypted file. And, never share them – even with employees or vendors – unless
you are convinced it’s safe to do so. When in doubt, ask an extra question, or
check someone’s credentials, just so you can be sure.
#4 Change Your Passwords
It would be nice if you only had to worry about keeping
passwords safe on your end, but it’s a sad fact that your vendors and partners
(even Fortune 500 firms) can be hacked. As a result, your password might be
compromised even if you aren’t aware of it.
The best way to deal with that threat is to change your
passwords at regular intervals even if you don’t think it’s necessary. For
instance, you might spend a few minutes on a Saturday morning every three
months generating new ones and saving them to your accounts.
Looking for More
Common Sense Tech Advice?
Kinetik IT has become a trusted resource for business owners
throughout Arizona because we look for simple, workable, and cost-effective
solutions for our clients. If you want better data security, 24/7 helpdesk
support, and a smarter approach to tech spending and deployment, contact us
today to learn more!