Passwords are your protection against fraud and loss
No matter how small or large your business may be, no matter what system you employ, and whether you have 1 employee or 50 employees, password security is no longer a running joke but it is now a vital part of every business.
Data privacy is facing an ever growing threat, and in a world where just about everything you own is, or will be, connected together, the rules are changing. Convenient? Yes! Dangerous? Could be!
But few people choose passwords that are really secure.
This opens up some legitimate concerns about security weaknesses — presenting ample new opportunities for cybercriminals to compromise our security and privacy—and highlights the importance of good password security.
Last year, data breaches—including espionage and exposure of corporate and consumer data—continued. Cyber-attacks and data breaches as reported by mainstream media, tended to focus on hackers, malware authors, operatives and cybercrime gangs. Even more threats exist in the form of insider leaks, (a malicious employee with privileged access stealing password data), Loss or theft, (portable devices, laptops or physical documents), unintended disclosure: (employee error)
WHAT NOT TO DO
A security blogger Anders Nilsson spent time with a password analyzing tool, running it against 450,000 plaintext passwords snatched by hackers from Yahoo Voices. The results were startling and didn’t inspire much confidence that users are getting the message about password security.
While no one can guarantee perfection, there are some essential password activities you can take right now to protect your data no matter what industry you are in.
- Implement a unique password for each site or system you utilize: there are a variety of threats targeting you nowadays, and if a hacker cracks one of your passwords, at least only one device has been compromised.
- Regularly update your passwords: frequently changing your password using special characters and a combination of upper and lower case characters significantly reduces the chance that hackers will figure out your password.
- Try to memorize your password: memorize your password rather than writing it down. Use a string of characters that is meaningful to you, or use mnemonic devices to help you recall the password. There are good free programs available that will help you manage your passwords.
- Make your password as long as possible: The longer a password is, the harder it is to guess or to find by trying all possible combinations (i.e., a brute force attack). Passwords of 14 characters or more are vastly more difficult to crack.
- Use different types of characters: Include numbers, punctuation marks, symbols, and uppercase and lowercase letters. On mobile devices that are not designed for easy special character input, consider using longer passwords with different characters.
- Do not use dictionary words: The time has long past that you can afford to think that no-one else in the world will figure it out
“A password of ‘password1234* isn’t actually a password.”