Having a strong password can safeguard your business from cybercriminals, while having a weak one puts you at risk of hacking, identity theft, and financial loss. To assess whether your password provides adequate protection against malicious attacks and unauthorized users, ask these five questions.
How long is your password?
Ideally, a password should be at least 12 characters long. But if you want a stronger password, set longer combinations. This is because the longer the password is, the harder it is to guess or crack it using brute force attacks.
The best way to create a long password is to make use of passphrases, which consist of a sentence or sequence of words. Apart from being longer than traditional passwords, passphrases also tend to be easier for users to remember because they have meaning and are not just a random combination of characters.
Is your password complex?
To set a complex password, avoid using common words, phrases, or patterns that are easy to guess. Instead, use a random combination of characters that are difficult to predict. For instance, adding a combination of special characters, upper- and lowercase letters, and numbers to a passphrase can significantly enhance password strength.
However, keep in mind that you should strike a balance between complexity and recallability. If you set passwords that are too complex, you might easily forget them and have to reset your password, causing inefficiencies.
Do you recycle your passwords?
Using the same password across multiple accounts may seem convenient, but it can leave you highly vulnerable to hacking and identity theft. If a cybercriminal gains access to an account with a recycled password, they will be able to access all accounts that use the same password.
A password manager can help ensure you only use unique passwords. Not only can it generate strong passwords for you, but it can also securely store them, saving you the trouble of remembering multiple passwords. Not to mention, password managers often have additional features to check for reused passwords and make automatic password changes, making it easier than ever to stay secure online.
With whom do you share your passwords?
It is critical to never share passwords because doing so can compromise the security of your accounts and personal information. When you share your password with someone else, you essentially give them access to your account and the sensitive information it contains. Even if you trust the person with whom you shared your passwords, you cannot be sure that they wouldn’t be a victim of a cyberattack or that they wouldn’t unknowingly compromise your credentials.
How often do you change your passwords?
Changing your passwords regularly reduces the risk of them being compromised and makes it harder for hackers to gain access to your account over time. The frequency with which passwords should be changed depends on various factors, such as the type of account, the sensitivity of the information it contains, and the level of security risks involved.
For instance, passwords for accounts that contain sensitive information, such as online banking, email, or social media, should be changed at least once every three months. Passwords for low-risk accounts, such as those for online forums or news sites, can be changed at least once a year. However, if you suspect that your account has been compromised or you receive a notification from the service provider about a potential security breach, reset your password immediately.
Strong passwords are critical in keeping your organization secure. If you need a hand in implementing an effective password security strategy or fortifying your IT infrastructure, turn to Cutting Edge Technologies. With our robust solutions and team of IT experts, you can count on us to keep your systems safe and optimized. Contact us today.