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Strong Passwords

Using strong passwords is the easiest way to protect yourself and your business from being hacked. The trick is to know what makes a strong password and make sure everyone in your organization understands too.

Many websites and computer systems require a minimum of five characters for their passwords. Surprisingly, it’s not that uncommon for people to choose a password like “123” or “abc123”. It may be easy to remember, but it’s also easy to guess.

In fact, Imperva (a U.S.-based data security company) recently released a list of the most commonly used passwords. Among the top ten were: 123456, Password, iloveyou, princess, rockyou, babygirl, Nicole, Daniel, Qwerty and monkey.

Once network security is compromised, it can be relatively easy for an experienced hacker to gain access to sensitive files.

To combat this problem, some websites now require more complex passwords with multiple character types. The only problem with this security strategy is it makes the passwords harder for people to remember, especially as many people use multiple logins with multiple passwords.

The key to making your passwords more effective, is to make sure they are a variation of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. That will make them harder to guess and is a good practice even if the website or system doesn’t require this variance.

For strong passwords, Prophet recommends using a minimum of eight characters and at least three of the following four:

1.    Upper case letters
2.    Lower case letters
3.    Numbers
4.    Symbols

Using secure passwords is a good practice if your organization has an internet connection, and is paramount if your organization permits remote (i.e. external) access to email or remote desktops.

Prophet Business Group can help you with all of your online business security needs, including creating stronger passwords. Contact us in Winnipeg at 204-982-9890 to learn ways your employees can use passwords to create a more secure network.

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