Living in the 21st century, we’re surrounded by technology every day. From smartphones to computers and everything in between, technology has become a constant in our lives. With our use of technology on the rise, this has also caused a rise in cybercriminal activity. In order to protect our online information, we create passwords. Unfortunately, criminals still somehow find ways to hack those passwords and get into our accounts. While nothing is guaranteed, there are precautionary measures that can be taken to better protect our accounts. We’ve included a list below of guidelines to follow when creating & managing passwords, whether it be for your individual and/or business accounts.
Do’s and Don’ts of Passwords
Passwords that include at least 12 characters including an uppercase letter, lowercase letter, symbol and number are great places to start as long as they are only used once. Here is a list of things to remember when creating passwords:
- DO use a different password for each online account.
- DO use a password that is at least 12 characters long, includes an uppercase letter, lowercase letter, special character, and number. Making it at least 12 characters long ensures optimal security.
- DO use some sort of multi-factor authentication.
- DON’T use any personal information in your passwords.
- DON’T use words or strings of words that can be found in dictionaries.
- DON’T write your passwords down, put them on a spreadsheet or put them in your phone.
- DON’T save passwords to your browser and turn off your browser’s ‘Suggest Passwords’ setting.
- DON’T share or allow employees to share single logins and passwords for any system.
For an added layer of security, it’s always good to change your passwords on a frequent basis. If you feel any of your accounts have been compromised, you’ve been using the same password since opening an account, you are using the same password for various accounts, or if your password doesn’t meet the ‘strong’ criteria upon creation, we recommend changing it immediately.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) has become one of the best ways to secure online accounts. Some people may find it hard to use or get annoyed that it takes a little extra time, but in today’s age, it is one of the best ways to ensure your accounts are being protected. MFA can prevent 99.9% of all account compromise attacks, according to Microsoft.
Here are some ways that your company can better implement MFA and make the transition easier:
- Contact your MSP or internal IT team and talk to them about MFA, and how they can start to implement it throughout your company.
- Create a plan that will allow for adequate support and staff training to make the transition less stressful and easier for everyone.
- Be an example to others and if you feel up to it, begin setting up MFA on your company and personal devices.
- Require your vendor or partner accounts to enable MFA. If they don’t offer this, it may be in your best interest to consider switching to a provider that does.
- Establish monitoring. Many companies have implemented hybrid work, which makes monitoring even more vital in today’s workforce.
So, you may be wondering…if I can’t use the same password for all of my accounts, then how am I supposed to remember all of them? Well, good news! There are numerous secure and free (for basic use) password management tools available that will help keep you organized and simplify your life. If you need some suggestions, feel free to contact Entre.
Moral of the story? Start implementing these best practices when creating & using passwords, whether it’s for you as an individual, your business, or both. Anyone and everyone that has any type of online account should use good password etiquette and put these suggestions into action. If you have any questions regarding passwords or password management tools, you can contact Entre Technology Services.