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4 Simple Rules for Safeguarding Your Passwords

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 should follow…


#1 Choose Complex and Passwords

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 Regularly

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!

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