The security of your accounts is important for several reasons. Personal, sensitive information may be associated to your account such as your emails, contacts, and photos. In addition, other services may rely on your email address to verify your identity. If someone gains access to your email, they may be able to take over your other accounts too (like banking and online shopping) by resetting your passwords by email. The same goes for your work accounts. Hackers may be able to access sensitive business data through a weak password or faulty security measures. Below are some guidelines you should use when creating a password for any account.
8 Tips for creating a strong and unique password:
- Make your password at least 8 characters long. We recommend longer, WITHOUT repeated words or using sentences.
- Use uppercase, lowercase, numbers and non-alphanumeric characters in unpredictable patterns (e.g. “7HI$” which is leetspeak for “This” will be easier to crack than “H$i7” which is the same symbols randomized).
- Don’t use a password that is the same or similar to one you use on any other website. A cybercriminal who can break into that website can steal your password from it and use it to breach your account.
- Don’t use a single word (e.g. “princess”) or a commonly-used phrase (e.g.“Iloveyou”). These are easily discovered by cybercriminals using hacking programs.
- Do make your password hard to guess even by those who know a lot about you (such as the names and birthdays of your friends and family, your favorite bands, and phrases you like to use).
- Choose a completely different password when your old one expires (e.g. don’t update “SamplePW1” to “SamplePW2”).
- Keep your security info (like an alternate email address or phone number) up to date. This will help to verify your identity if you forget your password or if someone else tries to take over your account.
- Enable two-step verification. Two-step verification makes it harder for anyone to access your account with just your password. A second security code will be sent to your phone or alternate email address to enter before you can obtain entry to your account.
If you’re looking for help implementing computer security measures at your business, feel free to call us at 914-934-9775 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We provide IT security solutions to hundreds of small and mid-sized businesses throughout the tristate area. If you’d like to learn more about us, click here.