12 Password Best Practices

Businesses must create strategies to educate employees about password best practices to avoid breaches.

With the business world heavily reliant on digitalization, using technology in your organization is unavoidable. While technology can undeniably give your business an advantage in increasingly competitive markets, there are many troublesome areas you need to watch.

That’s why interest in cybersecurity has risen in recent years. Password protection is the best place for you to start if you want to ramp up your business’s security.

Securing your data by creating a password is known as password protection. Only those with passwords can access information or accounts once data is password-protected.

However, because of the frequent use of passwords, people tend to overlook their significance and make careless mistakes. This can lead to breaches in your business’s security. To avoid this risk, follow these password best practices.

Password Best Practices: The Do's and Don'ts

Ensuring that employees are informed about password best practices is crucial for the success of any business. By implementing strategies that effectively educate your staff, you can help to safeguard your company’s sensitive information and protect against potential security breaches. Use these best practices in your organization to boost your security.

6 Password Best Practices: The “Do's”

1. Create long, phrase-based passwords that exchange letters for numbers and symbols

For instance, if you choose "Honey, I shrunk the kids," write it as "h0ney1$hrunkth3k!d$." This makes your password harder for hackers to crack.

2. Change critical passwords every three months

Passwords protecting sensitive data must be handled with caution because there is a lot at stake if they are compromised. If you use a password for a long time, hackers may have enough time to crack it. Therefore, make sure you change your critical passwords every three months.

3. Change less critical passwords every six months

This necessitates determining which password is crucial and which is not. In any case, regardless of their criticality, changing your passwords every few months is a good practice.

4. Use multifactor authentication

It’s your responsibility to do everything in your power to keep nefarious cybercriminals at bay. One of the best approaches is to barricade them with multiple layers of authentication.

5. Always use passwords that are longer than eight characters and include numbers, letters and symbols

The more complicated things are for hackers, the better.

6. Use a password manager

A password manager can relieve the burden of remembering a long list of passwords, freeing up time for more productive tasks.

6 Password Best Practices: The “Don'ts”

1. Don’t write passwords on sticky note

Although you may feel that writing down passwords improves password protection and makes it more difficult for someone to steal your passwords online, it can make it easier for someone to steal your passwords locally.

2. Don’t save passwords to your browser

This is because web browsers are terrible at protecting passwords and other sensitive information like your name and credit card number. Web browsers can easily be compromised and a wide range of malware, browser extensions and software can extract sensitive data from them.

3. Don’t iterate your password (for example, PowerWalker1 to PowerWalker2)

Although this is a common practice among digital users, it is unlikely to protect against sophisticated cyberthreats. Hackers have become far too intelligent and can crack iterated passwords in the blink of an eye.

4. Don’t use the same password across multiple accounts

Many people who don’t use a password manager, reuse the same 3-5 passwords for their accounts. If you do, you are handing cybercriminals a golden opportunity to exploit all your accounts.

5. Don’t capitalize the first letter of your password to meet the “one capitalized letter” requirement

Out of habit, most of us tend to capitalize the first letter of our passwords to conform with the "one capitalized letter" requirement. However, hackers are aware of this, making it easy for them to guess the capitalized letter's position.

6. Don’t use “!” to conform with the symbol requirement

However, if you must use it, don’t place it at the end of your password. Placing it anywhere else in the sequence makes your password more secure.

Need Stronger Cybersecurity? A Managed Service Provider Can Help.

Adhering to password, and other risk management, best practices require constant vigilance and effort on your part. As a result, it is best to work with a sophisticated managed IT service provider who can help you boost your security and provide you with peace of mind.

If you’re in more of a DIY position, check out these great resources below.

Helpful Resources

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