Doctor Digital, do I really have to use those long tricky passwords? I'll never be able to remember them.
Doctor Digital Says
Let's ask the same question in bricks and mortar speak. Do I really need this key to my business, its safe and cash register? I'll never be able to remember where I put them, can't I just leave them unlocked? It sounds funny when the comparison is made, but with the amount of critical and valuable digital information all of our businesses have these days, whether a bricks and mortar business or a fully online one, the outcome would be the same.
Passwords are the key to your business. Unfortunately, the same mistakes of human nature continue to be made: easy to crack and hack passwords to help us remember. It's mildly comforting (or is that concerning) that these traits of making things easy on our brains are global, especially in English speaking countries, we all seem to love convenience over privacy. A recent report by NordVPN tallied up the top 200 easy passwords and how long it takes to crack them. Click here to see if you made theTop 200. It's uncomfortable reading, especially as so many took less than a second. Ouch123.
As we gather more devices, more apps, more online services, passwords can be a little on the excessive side, especially when the advice is to change them regularly. Add in staff using them as well, and it can feel completely overwhelming. But the other option is non-negotiable if you want to keep your bank account full of cash and your customer data safe. What to do?
Here are some recommendations on the best way to keep your passwords in check:
- Never use short passwords. The bigger variety of characters the password has, the longer it will take a hacker to guess it.
- Never reuse your passwords. Even if a password is leaked, other accounts with different passwords will still be protected.
- Make your passwords complex. Use upper- and lower-case letters, symbols, special characters, and numbers to create strong passwords.
- Use long passphrases. Using dictionary words is not advisable. Instead, create a combination of six to seven random words. A combination like "left elephant shoes purple rugby vacation" is difficult to guess because of its length and randomness, but it is easier to remember.
- Use the mnemonics technique. Create memorable phrases using the mnemonics technique. For example, create a sentence like "I love to eat pizza with friends for fun!" and use it as a mnemonic to create a password "1L2epwf4F!"
- Use a password manager. Password managers help people generate and store passwords.
As cybercrime gets more common, and frequently targets small to medium businesses just like yours, it is worth taking control of your cyber security policies and protocols and being able to ensure that you have the best possible protection for all your valuables - cash and data. If you need help with any of this, our friendly Digital Coaches can help you out, click here to make an appointment. You can get the jump on the process and be ready to workshop by using our cyber security checklist.