July 8, 2019

Your top 5 password security questions, answered

Learn how you can keep your business safe by creating a secure password strategy

What’s protecting your most private information from the outside world? The chances are, it’s a password.

With so much of our sensitive data being stored online, one of the things our clients ask us about most is how to keep their passwords secure.

Join us as we dive into the most frequently asked questions about password security, and learn how you can keep your business safe and secure from hackers.

How can my passwords be compromised?

Out of all the businesses in the world, who’s really going to go to all the effort of trying to hack your password? What you might not know is that your password can actually be exposed without you being directly targeted.

  • Data breaches

It’s becoming increasingly common for large companies you know and trust to announce they’ve suffered a data breach as the result of a cyber attack. When this happens, lists of thousands or millions of login details can become available to hackers around the world.

  • Brute-force attacks

These attacks work by targeting specific groups of user accounts and systematically trying all possible passwords until the right one is found.

  • Targeted hacking

Of course, there is always the chance that you will be specifically targeted by an unscrupulous individual who wants to gain access to your accounts. If it’s someone who knows you, they may even be able to guess your password or the answers to your security questions.

What is password strength?

Password strength is the measure of how effectively your password stands up to guessing or brute-force attacks. The strength of a password is calculated by assessing its length, complexity and unpredictability.

This is one of the most important factors of password security. Generally, the stronger your password strength, the lower the risk of you being hacked.

How do I choose a secure password?

The first step in keeping your accounts protected is creating a password that’s hard to crack.

Our top tips for creating a secure password:

  • Don’t use commonly used passwords like “password” or “123456”.
  • Don’t use personally identifiable passwords like your name, phone number, birthday or pet’s name.
  • Don’t use single word passwords like “hiking” or “music”.
  • Do make sure your passwords are more than eight characters long.
  • Do use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols and numbers.

Many websites will show you the strength of your password right as you’re creating it. Some will also require that you include symbols or uppercase letters in your password.

Should I use different passwords everywhere?

The answer to this one is easy: YES!

If you use the same password for multiple services or websites, you’ll face a real headache if one of these services is compromised by hackers.

What’s a good password security strategy for my business?

A password breach can be very bad news for your business. And while a strong password is the key to keeping your accounts protected, there are secondary measures you should also be using to keep your business safe.

  • Two-step verification 

Many services and websites offer enhanced password security in the form of two-step verification. We recommend that you enable this whenever available. As well as entering your password, you’ll need to enter a special code that’s sent to your phone as you sign in. This way, a hacker who doesn’t have access to your phone won’t be able to sign in, even if they have your password.

  • Best practices

We advise business owners and their team members to never write down their password, and never share it with anyone else. It’s also a good idea to change your passwords regularly, just in case.

  • Get notified

Many websites and services give you the option to receive a notification when there’s a login to your account from a new device or new IP address. If it wasn’t you or someone on your team, you can immediately revoke access and then change your password immediately.

By following this password security advice, you’ll be well on your way to keeping your accounts — and your business — safe and secure from hackers! 

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