Passwords are a necessary evil, causing much annoyance but are a requirement in every-day business life. The annoyance of passwords pales into insignificance however if you are unfortunate enough to be targeted by hackers committing cybercrime.
Setting complex passwords and keeping them secure is fundamental for businesses but still, all too often, do employees set passwords such as January1234 or Password01.
What makes an unsecure password?
The bad news is that we are never 100% secure but we can put in place steps to minimise the risk of cybercrime and hackers discovering your passwords. What not to do, is set passwords such as the month you are working in, a family member’s name, pet name or anything really to do with your personal information. Social media accounts which are public are easy bait for hackers and can be used to work out your passwords.
What makes a secure password?
A secure password is one that cannot be worked out easily by a person or a computer. A good password contains a number of rules and characters making it difficult to solve, these include:
- Do not use personal information.
- Do not keep using the same password but just change one character.
- Do not use easy to remember numbers such as 54321.
- Use a password of at least eleven characters long.
- Use a series of random words threaded together.
- Make sure you use upper case and lower case letters.
- Include special characters randomly through the password e.g. &(+.
- Or to be really secure, use the passwords generated by the piece of software you are using, they often now include a random password generator which suggests strong passwords for you to use.
How does a hacker find out a password?
There are a couple of ways in which a hacker will try to do this, the first way is for them to go online and attempt to access your account by guessing your password. Thankfully many sites lock accounts after a few attempts of guessing the password.
The other way is for a hacker to attempt to access a company’s online computer system and obtain a copy of the password file. Hopefully however your IT department or Managed Service Provider will have encrypted this file with a hashing function which effectively hides the characters in the passwords and for the hacker, turning the hashes back to a password is virtually impossible.
How to store your passwords.
If you set and need to remember a number of passwords, you can use a password manager programme such as https://www.lastpass.com which stores your passwords securely.
How to test passwords.
https://howsecureismypassword.net is a great tool to test different styles of passwords but never enter your actual password here. Long complicated passwords are now advised rather than changing your passwords regularly.
Hackers and cyber-crime are on the rise and your business is more at risk today than ever. EPX Technical Services are a Managed Service Provider who can help introduce a safer workplace for you and your employees by delivering secure IT solutions. To learn more about EPX Technical Services, contact us on 01785 878 311 or email email@example.com.