Passwords are an integral component of your cyber security as they are the first line of defence against unwanted access to your accounts. The stronger your passwords are, the better protected you will be from hackers or malicious software. However, despite the headlines and repeated warnings from experts, many users are yet to rectify their poor password habits.

Our Top Password Security Tips: 

Make Passwords LONG
Longer passwords or phrases are more secure than making it complex:
• If the website\system allows, make the password a phrase.
• Make the phrase at least 16 characters, but the more the better.
• Don’t be too worried about special characters unless the website\system forces you to use them.
An example could be “The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over The Lazy Dog”. Long and easy to remember as it is not too complex.

If the Website or system forces you to use old style password security, please follow these rules:
• Include both uppercase and lowercase letters.
• Utilise numbers.
• Use symbols where possible, for example: !, @, #, $, % etc.

Don’t Use Personal Information
Personal information is easy to find online, especially if you use social media. Details like your date of birth, high school, address, anniversary, and relatives or pets’ names are only a few clicks away. These are the first details cyber criminals will consider if they are trying to hack into your accounts.

Avoid Reusing Passwords
Many of us use the same password, or stick to two or three different ones, that we use time and time again. The downside being that if one account is hacked, other accounts with the same password, become vulnerable. For this reason, it is important to use different passwords for each account, especially the important ones!

Change Your Passwords Regularly
The more sensitive your account is, the more often you should change your password. Once you have made a change, avoid reusing your old password again. This means that if someone knows your old password, they won’t be able to gain access in the future.

Do Not Let Internet Browsers Remember Your Passwords
While this feature may improve efficiency, it also leads to greater vulnerability if your device becomes compromised. If your computer, for example, was stolen or hacked remotely over the internet, the unauthorised party will gain access to the accounts you have saved your passwords for.

Use a Password Management Tool
Rather than trying to memorise multiple passwords, you should consider using a password management tool such as LastPass. Password managers auto-generate and store strong passwords on your behalf. These passwords are kept in an encrypted, centralised location, which you have a master password for. Many services come with additional features such as syncing passwords across multiple devices.

By following the tips provided, you will have the ability to develop password habits that lead to a more secure cyber presence. If you would like to know more about how your business can improve its password security practices, please feel free to email us or call us on 07 957 2650.