Are your passwords really keeping your information safe?

One of the most common methods for hackers to access electronic devices and accounts is by predicting passwords.  Conversely, one of the easiest ways to protect your information and devices is by making your passwords too difficult to hack.

The key to strong password security for your business lies in the following:

1. Keep work and home separate

In an ideal security setting, no person should use the same password for more than one account. For instance, your password for internet banking should be different to your Facebook and email account. The most important reason for this, is that if your password reset requests are sent to your email, not only have you given the hacker access to your account, you’ve given them the ability to lock you out.

As an employer, request that your employees keep separate home and work passwords. At a minimum, you can reduce the risk that a hacker gains access to your systems through a personal attack.

2. Complex and long

It may sound simple, but the longer and more complex the password, the harder to crack.  There are different schools of thought, but as a starting point, passwords should be:

  • At least 8-10 characters long
  • Contain upper case, lower case letters, numbers and characters

But how will you remember them?

Common advice is to never write down your passwords. These days, it’s unlikely that hackers will be in your office, opting for the far safer remote hacking options.  If having a complex and long password means writing it down, then so be it.  Just remember to lock it away at the end of the day and keep it from prying eyes.

If you are having trouble thinking of a password, here are a couple of options:

  1. Use a random password generator which will develop a password for you based on the criteria provided (without any pesky human interaction).
  2. Develop your own password based on a phrase you can remember such as “my cats name is Frank, he likes Salmon for breakfast” “M@n!F,hlS4b”.

You should always remember it’s not how important the information is to the hackers, it’s how important it is to your or your customers.

 

Adrian Downing

If you have any questions in regards to cyber security or would like assistance, please contact Adrian Downing on 03 5443 0344.