Passwords protect our data, safeguard our finances, and ensure personal information stays private. How we choose to secure our system information can be our greatest strength — or the Achilles’ Heel of database management. Keep your company off the list of shame with these simple password do’s and don’t.
The Weak Password Most Wanted List
A recent report published by the UK’s National Cyber Security Center revealed the world’s most hacked passwords. The top ten worst passwords in terms of vulnerability shouldn’t come as a surprise to even the most casual techie, but they’re worth reviewing nonetheless. The big ten when it comes to weak passwords are:
As a general rule, passwords containing obvious letter or number sequences are extremely easy to hack both manually and by algorithms that run hundreds of possible combinations to crack your security. Any information that is simple to obtain or common knowledge should not be used. This includes names of pets, people, sports teams, musicians, colors, and cities. These kinds are as outdated as dial-up and should be shelved along with certain browsers we won’t mention. When it comes to securing your data, complexity is key.
How to Get on the Nice List
Creating a secure system is simple as 123 — as long as you aren’t using 123 for your password, that is. Opt for passwords that are at least 12 characters. A combination of numbers, letters, and symbols is best. Avoid obvious substitutes such as swapping an “o” for a zero.
Still trying to come up with a combination that works for your computer? Consider using sentences with the aforementioned guidelines (capitals, lowercase, numbers, symbols) and be sure to change your password every six months. If you have trouble remembering your passwords, password managers are highly helpful in keeping track of your credentials. When used alongside fully managed IT services, these resources allow business owners the freedom to devote their energy elsewhere, without the constant worry of a data breach.
If you’ve been considering increasing data security, check out our handy vulnerability test tool and find out how yours stack up. Not quite hitting the mark? Don’t panic! Our tech experts are just a click away to meet all of your compliance needs.