Password Do’s and Don’ts :: Strong Security Starts with Password Securityandrea
We’ve been thinking a lot about customer security lately. When we came across this blog series about password security, we knew we had to share it with all our customers. It’s far too easy to think passwords are a nuisance—when really they’re essential to keeping your data and your business safe.
If you use the same password for multiple systems—online shopping, email, your company’s cloud bookkeeping solution, etc.—you’re not alone. Even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg did that. And in 2016 his LinkedIn credentials were compromised in a major breach. That gave hackers access to his Twitter account, too, because the passwords were the same.
The fact is, with just one user password, hackers can often break into multiple applications and systems. Your whole business can very quickly be put at risk. That’s why a good security practice is to have a different, strong password for every account. A breach will be isolated to that account, and the fallout will be much smaller and easier to manage.
Be extra protective of your sensitive accounts
When it comes to ultra-sensitive accounts like company servers or your banking apps, make sure the password you use isn’t one you’ve used anywhere else. Banks typically have strong security measures, but even those won’t protect you if someone tries a password you’ve used somewhere else and it works. The consequences could be disastrous.
Email is another big one to safeguard
If someone gets into your email, whether it be work or personal, the potential for damage goes up exponentially. They can send out phishing, ransomware, or other malicious attacks to any or all of your contacts, and they’ll seem legitimate because they’ve come directly from you.
Be unique and strong
Of course, in addition to being unique, your passwords have to be strong, too. At a minimum, that means making each one long. Pick one with at least eight characters, but the longer the better. If you can use phrases of multiple words instead of a single word, that’s even better still. (And for goodness’ sake, don’t use “password”.)
So why don’t more people use unique, strong passwords for every account? Usually because they feel like it’s too much work. If you have dozens or hundreds of accounts, having a different password for each one might seem like a royal pain. And long, complex passwords are definitely hard if not impossible to remember. Fortunately, there are solutions to help manage passwords for you so your brain (or an insecure notebook or spreadsheet) doesn’t have to do all the work. Having the right tools is just as important as having the right practices in place.
Using a password management tool allows you to generate, store, and easily access passwords without having to remember each individual password. Password management tools are cost effective and can exponentially decrease the likelihood of a security breach.
If you’d like to learn more about how to manage your passwords, please contact us at 616.837.6930 or via email. And watch for our next blog on how you can add extra security by changing your passwords periodically.