In today's business landscape, digitalization is inevitable. While technology can provide your business with a competitive edge in ever-evolving markets, it also presents challenges that warrant vigilant attention. This is why interest in cybersecurity continues to rise (and why the pitfalls of not paying attention to it grow deeper).
Password protection is an important foundational step in bolstering your cybersecurity measures. Instituting a alphanumeric string to safeguard an entity's data is what we refer to as password protection. Only individuals possessing the correct passwords can access the protected data or accounts behind it. However, due to the ubiquitous nature of passwords, their role is often underestimated, leading to inadvertent missteps that can compromise security.
It's vital for businesses to proactively educate their teams about the nuances and best practices associated with password usage.
10 Password Best Practices: The 5 "Don'ts"
Protect the integrity of your passwords by following these five password “don’ts”:
- Don’t store passwords in an application on your device.
Unless you’re using an approved password vault, don’t store your passwords on your computer. Excel documents, note applications, email contact fields, etc. offer now security or encryption. If someone gets physical or electronic access to your device, they’ll have access to your passwords too.
- Don’t save passwords to your browser.
This technically falls under #1, but we feel like we need to call it out. Web browsers often fall short in safeguarding passwords and personal details like your name and credit card number. They're susceptible to threats, with various malware, browser extensions, and software capable of extracting sensitive information.
- Don’t iterate your password (for example, PowerWalker1 to PowerWalker2).
While many people adopt this approach, it's unlikely to protect against advanced cyberattacks. Hackers have become incredibly adept and can decipher even iterated passwords almost instantly.
- Don’t capitalize the first letter of your password to meet the “one capitalized letter” requirement.
Many of us, almost instinctively, capitalize the first letter of our passwords, especially when there's a "one capitalized letter" rule. But hackers are hip to this, often making it a breeze for them to pinpoint where that uppercase letter is.
- Don’t use “!” to conform with the symbol requirement.
But if you're set on including it, avoid tacking it onto the end. Positioning it elsewhere in the sequence boosts your password's security.
10 Password Best Practices: The 5 "Do's"
Protect the confidentiality of your passwords by following these five password “do’s”:
- Create long, phrase-based passwords that exchange letters for numbers and symbols.
Take, for example, "Honey, I shrunk the kids." You could tweak it to "h0ney1$hrunkth3k!d$." This version gives hackers a much tougher time.
- Use multifactor authentication.
It's on you to pull out all the stops to fend off sneaky cybercriminals. One top-notch strategy? Fortifying your defenses with multiple layers of authentication.
- Always use passwords that are longer than eight characters and include numbers, letters and sy#bol$.
The more complicated things are for hackers, the better.
- Always use a different password for every account.
Using the same password for various accounts? That's like giving cybercriminals an all-access pass to all your digital spaces. Make each password unique. Ex: Your Microsoft login could be "m!Cr01$hrunkth3$ofT." (See what we did there? Don't copy it.)
- Use a password manager.
Using a password manager can take the weight off recalling a slew of passwords, letting you focus on tasks that truly matter.
Need a password manager? We can help.
Sticking to password best practices is a continuous journey that demands your attention and effort. Why not lean on experts? Partner with a seasoned managed service provider (MSP) like Net Works, and we'll ramp up your security, giving you peace of mind backed by proven best practices. Drop us a line for a commitment-free chat.