Think about your online life. How many logins do you manage? How many passwords do you need to remember? Think about your passwords. Do you use the same passwords for multiple sites? How secure are your passwords? For Global Privacy Day we went into detail about why it is so important to protect your Data, and your password and User ID safeguards the information that companies store about you.
What Makes a Good Password
You are trying to set a roadblock to prevent cybercriminals from accessing your accounts, and you want to make sure that your roadblock is not the same as anyone else’s. Passwords need to be secret, unique and difficult to guess. Passwords need to be a complex mix of upper and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters. The most common passwords are variations of important dates, and common words like “password.”
It might seem obvious, but if you don’t put effort into your password, hackers won’t have to put effort into accessing your account.
Why Does My Business Need a Robust Password Policy
Not everyone on your team is going to be tech-savvy. They likely aren’t aware of the importance of strong passwords, and regular password resets. An organization-wide password policy sets out wide restrictions and expectations to help your team protect your data. A policy will maintain a baseline of security for your company. Password policies are good business sense, driving your employees to focus on the steps that they can take to protect the company, and themselves. Common rules for password policies include:
- Passwords must be eight (8) characters or more
- They must include one (1) upper case and one (1) lower case letter
- Must include a special character (!, @, #, $, etc.)
- Cannot use any elements of the user name
- Cannot include repeating letters or numbers
- Automatic resets of passwords every 30 days
- Automatic lockouts and resets of passwords after three (3) incorrect attempts
- Users cannot reuse the same password as the last ten (10) passwords
Prepared is Protected
Multi-factor authentication. You have likely heard these words when talking about data protection, but enabling two-factor authentication for your accounts is a very good way to safeguard your information. Two-factor authentication places a second roadblock in the form of confirmation through an email or SMS text message. For example, if you sign into your banking website from your new iPhone, the bank might send you a text message with a 5-digit confirmation number, which you enter into the website to confirm that the person attempting to access your account is you. Not all organizations demand two-factor authentication, but many have it as an additional security feature. Setting up this authentication, before you need it, is just good sense – prepared is protected.
Tips and Tricks
World Password Day brings to light the importance of a strong password to safeguard your information, and prompts you to change your policy. Some things to think about when you are resetting your password this week:
- DO use different passwords for each of your logins.
- DO NOT use a common word or phrase as your password.
- DO include numbers, letters and special characters.
- DO NOT use your birthday, middle name or favourite sports team as your password; they are too easy to guess.
- DO use a memorable phrase as your password – a phrase like “Goslings Fly 70% Further when they Fly Together” can become “GF70%FwtFT”. This passphrase would not mean anything to anyone else, but it is simple enough for you to remember yourself. It also uses upper and lower case letters as well as numbers.
- DO NOT share your password with anyone; your password is no longer safe if someone knows it.
- DO use a password manager. There are secured apps that will help you to generate and remember complex passwords, so the only password you need to remember is the one for the application.
Remember, protect yourself, your business and your customers by being aware and changing your password often.
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