If your business isn’t thinking about best practices for password use, you could be leaving yourself open to potential security threats.
World Password Day is the annual global push for a better password security. It is a day to commit to stronger passwords. It is a day to urge people to quit using passwords that are easily hacked. You might be surprised to find out that the most commonly used passwords are some that you might as well have used yourself on occasion.
Here’s a list of some of the commonly used passwords that are, quite frankly, horrible.
The last three are the new hackable passwords which people have just started using according to the folks at SplashData. Note that those last three are Star Wars themed. That’s not a misprint – Star Wars passwords have actually become a thing. Which would be fine, if they were formatted for security. Hackers judge you on your ability to create hackable passwords, not on your taste in pop culture.
It generally takes someone being hacked before they see the need for a stronger password.
What is National Password Day?
National Password Day is on May 4th this year, so may the FOURTH be with you to choose a stronger password! Star Wars jokes aside, it’s a day that presents online users with the opportunity to review their passwords and to think about how to protect and strengthen their online accounts using stronger passwords. The National Password Day website provides useful info on best practices through illustrations, password strength tester and videos. Tech giants like the National Cyber Security Council, Microsoft and DELL are participating members.
The importance of security
Online security is an issue which should not be neglected. A slight slip can cost you a lot; ranging from identity theft, loss of cash on credit cards, websites crashing, loss of business investments and so much more. Hackers are always coming up with new ways to hack online accounts.
Businesses especially can find themselves in a pickle with online security. Passwords matter. The worst feeling the in world is knowing that you’ve gotten scammed for something that could have easily prevented. A breach in security over simple password missteps could cost your business a LOT of money.
Password best practices
You can take control of your passwords and prevent your online life from getting compromised. These are some best practices for password security:
· Use a different password for each account
Don’t get caught up in the trap of one password unlocks everything in your life. People often have one password for all of their online accounts. If the password is hacked, all other online accounts become vulnerable. Hackers are perfectly aware that we can be very lazy with our passwords, because who want’s to memorize a dozen long jumbles of letters and numbers?
Once a hacker is able to get a hold on one of your accounts, they’re going to immediately try that login info on all others. It’s best that you have different passwords for all your accounts. You don’t want intruders getting into your bank account just because it has the same password as your Facebook account. Reduce the risk by generating a distinctive password for all your accounts.
· Use Two-Factor Authentication
Facebook, Twitter, Blockchain and other companies now make use of the two-factor authentication to keep their users account safe from getting hacked. Though there is no way you can guarantee that your password won’t get stolen, two-step authentication requires an additional step by sending an access code is to your phone or email.
This has proven to be one of the best methods of keeping your account safe. Some two-factor authentication involves fingerprint verification. Your account cannot be hacked unless that person has your thumb. Webmasters should also create two-factor authentication on their websites to keep users safe.
It’s easy to skip two factor authentication in the service of saving time. DON’T! Take the extra few minutes to do this process and you’ll thank yourself later.
What makes a strong password?
A strong password is made up of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, special characters and numerals. You can use familiar things to help you remember things. For instance, if you’re a Star Wars fan, why not try lukeVII5^4 instead of just “luke”. If you love football, how about *01CAMpan instead of “football”. Those are secure passwords that won’t be easily hacked, but still relate to your favorite movie franchise or football team.
With all of the passwords we have to create and remember, it’s unsurprising that a lot of us experience “password fatigue”. Remembering all those passwords can be tough. Luckily, software developers have come up with password managers like Last Pass and True Key to address this issue. These services keep your passwords safe and strong while supplying them whenever you need them. For instance, Last Pass can be used as an extension in most browsers and can help you store your passwords on the go.
Like any other solution, these services are not perfect. Hackers have weaseled their way into these sites, but some find that it’s safer to allow a trusted partner to keep up with this information rather than use an excel spreadsheet or writing passwords on a sheet of paper that can be easily lost.
Don’t let World Password Day slip by without having another look at effective password best practices to keep your business safe. Password security is simple. Recovering from theft is not.
Which password best practices have you found most useful for your business? Any tips or tricks for remembering passwords? Please share in the comments!