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It’s Time to Stop Using Weak Passwords, Period

It’s Time to Stop Using Weak Passwords, Period

Simple passwords are often the bane of a business’ existence. If you routinely use strings like Password, 123456, Guest,  or Qwerty to secure an account, then you need to reexamine your password practices before they lead to a data breach. A good password can go a long way toward helping you in this effort.

In the case of the password, it’s often beneficial to know what not to do in addition to what you should do.

What Makes for a Bad Password?

Bad passwords are a little bit of a misnomer these days, especially as passwords are simply not the ideal way to protect important information anymore; rather, they should be a part of a multi-factor authentication solution. But alas, that’s not why we are here today. Passwords are still popular methods of protecting accounts, so we have to go over what makes them effective or ineffective.

Passwords are bad when they are not as secure as they need to be, which could be for a variety of reasons. Maybe they aren’t as complicated as they should be, or maybe they are simply repeated over too many accounts. Passwords can be a hindrance to account security, but they can also be boons when created properly.

Let’s discuss how you can make strong, complex passwords.

Creating Strong Passwords

Be sure to keep the following practices in mind for creating strong passwords:

Don’t Repeat Your Passwords
It doesn’t matter how strong a password is when it’s your single line of defense for multiple different accounts. All it takes is one instance of a data breach to expose that password to hackers, leading to multiple accounts being vulnerable. You can increase your security substantially by simply using different complex passwords for each of your accounts.

Make Them Complex
What do we mean by complex passwords? It’s simple; they should be easy enough to remember, but difficult to guess. You can use a passphrase, for instance, using random words that you’ve put together. Throw some numbers and symbols in there too for good measure.

Never Include Personal Details
You shouldn’t include personal details in your passwords because depending on how much information you share publicly on social media, the information could be used against you. Remember, the password should be easy to remember, but difficult to guess, and if there is information about you known to the hacker, they can potentially guess the password.

Use a Password Manager
The average user has countless passwords that they use to secure their accounts, so keeping track of multiple, complex passwords is a tall order even for the most dedicated employee. A password manager can make it easier to keep track of them all, and for those who have trouble with recycling passwords, many of these managers have built-in password generators. A password manager works by securing multiple passwords in an encrypted vault protected by a master password, so instead of remembering multiple passwords, you just have to keep track of one.

Need a Hand with Cybersecurity?

White Mountain IT Services is happy to help you navigate the challenges associated with cybersecurity. To learn more about what we can do for your business, contact us today at 603-889-0800.

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Although we provide remote services and support to businesses in over 20 states, onsite services are limited to within reasonable driving distance from our offices in NH.  We will manage a local vendor for locations outside of our service area to provide onsite assistance when needed.

 

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