When creating a password, nine times out of ten we are using one we use for almost everything else that requires a password because it is easy to remember. This might seem like a good idea, however, it is very unsecure. Think about it – if a hacker were to get your password, they can then access every account you have! How secure is your password?
Passwords like “12345” or “password” are very predictable, as are consecutive letters. To ensure the safety of your password and privacy, be sure to:
Keep the password complex, i.e. incorporate letters, numbers, and symbols and that change often. By doing so, this alleviates the option of someone cracking the code of your password. Additionally, aim for a long password (think 8 characters) - the longer the password the better, and same goes for complexity.
Avoid using personal information in your password that may be easy for someone to figure out. Things to avoid include your name, address, date of birth, pet’s name and children’s names. Instead, make up a sentence and use the first letters. For example, 'I love creating complex passwords with eight characters!' turns into this password: Ilccpw8c!
Make sure your passwords vary across different platforms – switch it up. It is okay to use the same word, but be sure to change it up by capitalizing different letters, or substituting letters for numbers such as changing an “e” to “3”.
Change your passwords every 3 months. At least every 90 days, we recommend changing your network, system and application passwords to prevent intruders from gaining unauthorized access. Remember: password creativity is critical, and password re-use is a big no-no.
Other best practices for securing your password is to not leave your password on a sticky note or under your keyboard. This tip sounds obvious, but occurs more than it should.
Ensuring your passwords are secure will protect you and your firm from security breaches. When it comes time to protect your firm, it's safe to say that less is definitely not more. In fact, it takes a pretty heavy arsenal of security measures to combat the ever-growing threats targeting your firm from both the inside and the outside.
Download our whitepaper for more Security Do’s and Don’ts to secure your firm.