Cybersecurity Begins with Your Password: 7 Tips for Optimal Password Security
On May 7th every year, organizations and individuals celebrate World Password Day. This day was created to help people understand the importance of creating strong and unique passwords as a way to improve their online security. But, with remote work becoming the new normal, strong password security is more important than ever before.
Despite the increased public awareness of the importance of password security, a recent study by SplashData showed that “123456” and “password” are still the most popular passwords.
This is alarming because it means that people are not taking their password security seriously. Why is this an issue? Well, weak passwords can lead to serious consequences like data breaches, identity theft, and loss of money. This is why it’s so important to create strong and unique passwords for all of your online accounts.
Remember These 7 Strong Password Best Practices
By following these tips, you can make it much harder for cyber criminals to access your accounts and sensitive information.
1. Use a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols
When creating a password, you should use a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. This will make your password more difficult to guess. For example, instead of using the password “password”, you could use “p4ssw0rd”.
2. Make your password at least 8 characters long
Another way to make your password more difficult to guess is to make it longer. A good rule of thumb is to make your password at least 8 characters long. The longer your password is, the harder it will be for someone to crack it.
3. Avoid using dictionary words
When creating a password, you should avoid using dictionary words. This is because many hackers use programs that can quickly guess common words. If you must use a word in your password, try misspelling it or substituting some of the letters with numbers or symbols.
4. Don’t use personal information
When choosing a password, you should avoid using personal information such as your birthdate, address, or pet’s name. This is because this type of information can be easily guessed or found through social engineering.
5. Use a password manager
A password manager is a software program that helps you create and store strong passwords. Password managers can also help you generate random passwords and keep track of your different passwords.
6. Enable two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an additional layer of security that requires you to enter a code from your smartphone in addition to your password when logging into an account. 2FA makes it much harder for hackers to access your accounts even if they have your password.
7. Change your passwords regularly
Even if you follow all of the tips above, it’s important to change your passwords on a regular basis. This will help to further protect your accounts in the event that your password is compromised.
Information You Should Never Include in Your Passwords
When updating and creating passwords, there are certain pieces of information you should never include. By avoiding these items, you can make your passwords much more secure.
- Your name
- Your address
- Your birthdate
- Your mother's maiden name
- Your pet's name
- Your favorite color
- Your favorite food
- Your favorite sports team
- Any other personal information that could be used to guess your password
What To Do If You Think Your Password Has Been Compromised
If you think your password may have been compromised, there are a few steps you should take:
- Change your password immediately.
- Monitor your account for any suspicious activity.
- If you use the same password for multiple accounts, change the passwords for those accounts as well.
In case of a cyber attack, it’s important to have a business continuity plan in place. This plan will help you and your team to stay organized and keep your business running in the event of an attack. If you need help creating a business continuity plan, you can contact ITS Group. They specialize in cybersecurity and can help you create a plan that fits your specific needs.
Your password is one of the most important pieces of cybersecurity for your business. By following the tips above, you can make it much harder for hackers to access your accounts and sensitive information. If you think your password has been compromised, take action immediately to protect your business.