Password security is a tricky part of running a business. After all, it’s not just dealing with your own password, but those of the many employees all throughout your organization. While you cannot control every decision your employees make, in times like this, it’s helpful to provide them with a list of how to make the best passwords possible. We discuss password safety a lot, because it is both important and there are a lot of different routes a business can take with it. Here are a couple of examples for what to do, as well as what you shouldn’t do, when building a proper password.
Password Do’s and Don’ts – Safety and Security
Passwords don’t have to be difficult. Here are some easy-to-follow tips for ensuring your passwords are as secure as possible.
- Use long passwords: Generally speaking, the longer the password is, the better for security. Of course, the contents of the password still matter, but we’ll get to that soon enough. Aim for a length of at least 16 characters. Using a longer passphrase instead of password may be easier to remember, you can see passphrases discussed below.
- Use special characters, numbers, and symbols: Simply using letters isn’t enough. You should strive to put together a password that consists of both upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. Swapping out a letter with a number or symbol can bulk up security like using 0 for O.
- Use alphanumerics: You’d be surprised by how much more effective alphanumeric passwords work. Try replacing an “i” with a “!” or an “a” with an “@” symbol.
- Try out passphrases: To bypass the annoyance of remembering passwords, you should use passphrases. These are short phrases that are easy to remember, but difficult to guess. A good example is, “iL0veW@ffle$2much” instead of “ILoveWafflesTooMuch.” Both are decent passwords for length and intricacy.
- Use different passwords for every account: We know what you’re thinking. Remembering more than one complex password is impossible! We know it might seem difficult, but using different passwords is critical to the success of your online accounts. If one is used for multiple accounts, and that account were to be compromised, all others that use that password would also be at risk. We really encourage you instill this one above all others with yourself and others. Using a password manager may help with this.
Sometimes best practices aren’t enough. Knowing what to avoid might help your organization minimize the likelihood of data breaches. Laying out the password do’s and don’ts in a document for employees to look back on also isn’t a bad idea.
- Don’t use “password”: Avoid using common words in your password, like “password.” These kinds of passwords are incredibly easy to crack and are often the first ones that hackers resort to if they don’t have a better clue about what to guess.
- Don’t use key strings like “qwerty”: Strings of characters with consecutive keys, like “qwerty” and “12345678” are quite insecure. Adding numbers in order like that to the end of simple passwords isn’t the best for security either. Consider this for your mobile device lock screen password as well!
- Don’t include personal or sensitive information: It’s bad enough that a password could be stolen, but what if that password contained other sensitive information that could be leveraged against you? Remove the possibility altogether by keeping sensitive information out of your passwords. Using birthdays or social security numerics should be avoided.
If you’re concerned about using complex passwords that are difficult to remember, a password manager can help considerably with this. A password manager stores passwords in an encrypted database protected by a master password, meaning that it will only call passwords as needed. If you need help setting up a password system or manager, or want help with getting any other IT support, check out our managed it services page and reach out to us for more information by calling (813) 749-0895.