If you haven’t yet, you will at some point probably get a spam email that says it’s holding your password at ransom. While it may seem like a hoax, there’s actually a chance it’s legit. Say a site you’ve signed up for and made purchases from, or planned to make purchases from, gets hacked. That info is then sold on the dark web, and hackers use it to hold users at ransom.
Despite the fact that passwords are the most direct way to access a user’s private information, most passwords in use today are not considered to be strong or complex enough – and even if they are, they aren’t updated often enough.
Check out our latest Coffee Break With Fuelled Video to learn more about effective password management:
Are Reused Passwords Putting You At Risk?
Think about how many different services and apps you have an account with. Think about how many have your credit card information or your address. All it takes is for one of those to be breached and your data will have been compromised.
And make no mistake, the rate of data breached around the world is rising year after year. You hear about data breaches, identity theft, and more on a seemingly daily basis.
Length and Complexity: Keep in mind that the easier it is for you to remember a password, the easier it’ll be for a hacker to figure it out. That’s why short and simple passwords are so common – users worry about forgetting them, so they make them too easy to remember, which presents an easy target for hackers.
Numbers, Case, and Symbols: Another factor in the password’s complexity is whether or not it incorporates numbers, cases, and symbols. While it may be easier to remember a password that’s all lower-case letters, it’s important to mix in numbers, capitals, and symbols in order to increase the complexity.
Pattern and Sequences: Like the other common mistakes, many people use patterns as passwords in order to better remember them, but again, that makes the password really easy to guess. “abc123”, or the first row of letters on the keyboard, “qwerty”, etc., are extremely easy for hackers to guess.
Manage Your Passwords
You don’t have to worry about remembering complex passwords so long as you manage them properly:
Update Your Passwords When Necessary: Complex passwords should be set and only changed in the event of an identified threat.
Use A Password Manager: A password manager generates, keeps track of, and retrieves complex and long passwords for you to protect your vital online information. It also remembers your PINS, credit card numbers, and three-digit CVV codes if you choose this option. Plus, it provides answers to security questions for you. All of this is done with strong encryption that makes it difficult for hackers to decipher.
Implement MFA: Multi-Factor Authentication is a great way to add an extra layer of protection to the existing system and account logins. By requiring a second piece of information like a randomly-generated numerical code sent by text message, you’re better able to ensure that the person using your employee’s login credentials is actually who they say they are. Biometrics like fingerprints, voice, or even iris scans are also options, as are physical objects like keycards.
In the end, creating, updating, and managing strong passwords can be frustrating, but it’s incredibly important. Privacy and security are major concerns for personal users and businesses alike these days, and so users have to be sure that they aren’t making it easy for hackers to access their private data. As you can see, managing passwords can be a complicated and time-consuming task, and that’s just one aspect of effective cybersecurity defense.
You don’t have to handle it all on your own – the Fuelled Networks team of cybersecurity experts is available to help you make sure you have the best solutions and processes in place to stay secure.
I have a strong passion for helping Ottawa Businesses, Entrepreneurs and professionals to become more productive and successful while allowing them to feel at ease and secure when it comes to their Information Technology needs. As the President of Fuelled Networks since 1998, I specialize in providing no-nonsense flawless and prompt technical support to Ottawa businesses, with in-depth consulting on Fortinet, Microsoft, Microsoft Cloud Stack and security. I strive to help businesses to succeed and take great pride in building long-lasting positive relationships and taking on a strong leadership role within the Ottawa community.