How Strong Are Your Passwords?

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Strong Security Starts with Strong Passwords

If you use the same password for multiple systems―online shopping, email, your company’s cloud bookkeeping solution, etc.―you are not alone. Even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg is guilty of this. In 2016 his LinkedIn credentials were compromised in a major breach, giving 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 is 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 extra sure the password you use is not one you have used anywhere else. Banks usually 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 app to safeguard―work and personal. If someone hacks into your email, the potential for damage goes up exponentially. They can send out phishing, ransomware, or other malicious attacks to any or all of your contacts, all looking legitimate because the messages come directly from you.

Be unique and strong

In addition to being unique, your passwords have to be strong. At a minimum, that means making each one long. Pick one with at least twelve characters, but the longer the better. If you can use phrases of multiple words instead of a single word, that is even better still. (And for goodness’ sake, do not use “password.”)

So why don’t more people use unique, strong passwords for every account? Usually because they feel it is 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) does not have to do all the work. Having the right tools is just as important as having the right practices in place.

Do your employees use multi-factor authentication?

Twin State highly recommends multi-factor authentication using both your work computer and another device, such as a phone, to log into sensitive company accounts. This one, simple, extra step is becoming a common and necessary practice to further prevent your business from being hacked.

Passwords Keep your Data Safe! Get Cyber Security Services from Twin State Technical Services

If you would like to learn more about how to manage your passwords, let us know. Get help from our team of experts of cyber security solutions and sleep easier at night. And watch for our next blog on how you can add extra security by changing your passwords periodically. Contact us today for a consultation. Call 563-441-1504 or contact us online.

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