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Passwords are an important line of defense that can successfully prevent digital infiltration.  These attacks are on the rise.  Some have the potential to take down your business.  It is imperative you and your team use strong passwords on all accounts, devices, etc.  The question is what, exactly, goes into making a strong password.

Password Basics

 

Let’s take a quick look at the basics of strong passwords.  At the bare minimum, your password should meet these requirements: the password should include lower case and upper case letters along with numbers and special symbols.  The password should be a minimum of eight characters in length.  Ideally, the password will be a dozen or more characters with a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.  If your system does not allow the use of special characters in passwords, stress the importance of team members using passwords with a combination of upper/lower case letters and numbers.

 

Be Careful When Selecting the Password Theme

 

Passwords should not be words that are in the dictionary.  Hackers now have the ability to use dictionary words in a rapid fire attempt to break the password.  Furthermore, the password should not be a combination of related words.  If you use a string of two words, make sure those words are completely unrelated.  As an example, consider a combination of personal knowledge such as the name of your first crush in combination with your childhood dream job.  Use the forementioned special characters along with uppers and lower case letters and your password will prove easier to recall than a meaningless sequence of letters, numbers and special characters.

 

 

Do not use the Same Password for Each Device

 

It is a mistake to use the same password across several devices, accounts and services.  Hackers are now gathering in small groups on sites to retrieve and share information such as email addresses, passwords, usernames, etc.  The hackers use these data combinations in rapid unison to access targets’ banking accounts and other data.  The hackers continue attempting to hack the target all the way up to his or her most valuable data.  This is precisely why it is so important to use several different passwords.  Even if the passwords have the same theme, their unique sequence of letters and numbers will make it challenging if not impossible to crack.

 

Mind the Location of Your Password

 

Do not write down your password and place it in an unsecured space.  As an example, it is a mistake to write down your password and tape it to the monitor.  Nor should you have any unencrpyted text on your devices with your passwords, usernames and other sensitive information.  If you easily lose track of your passwords and login information, consider the addition of a password organizer tool such as LastPass.