The 4th of May has been celebrated by Star Wars geeks for several decades. When spoken, the date bears a strong resemblance to the saying, "May the Force be with you." This year, there's another holiday worth geeky celebration occuring on the same date - World Password Day.
Cybersecurity is a global issue. One of the most common sources of security breaches and stolen data is poorly chosen passwords. According to Intel, the average person has 27 different logins for various accounts spanning both personal and work use — and 37 percent of respondents forget at least one of those passwords every week. As a result of these findings, they launched the World Password Day Initiative.
"As more and more sensitive data is stored online, the effects of cybercrime grow more significant each year. In fact, identity theft is among the fastest growing crimes in America. Passwords are critical gatekeepers to our digital identities, allowing us to access online banking, email, and social media, yet the majority of passwords are vulnerable to hacking." (Intel)
So, how do you make a good password?
The key to a strong password is length. Your passwords should be 8 characters long at the very least, and difficult for someone to guess. Avoid using personal information, especially if someone can find the answer on social media, or by searching your name online.
In addition to length, secure passwords also use a mix of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols.
This may seem daunting but there is a simple solution. Try using a passphrase instead of a password. A pass phrase is a short saying that you modify to become a strong password. For example, “Thund3r Sh0wers at Suns3t” would be a very strong password that’s also easy to remember. (Intel)
What else can you do to protect your data?
- Ensure you have up-to-date security on all internet-connected devices, including mobile phones which are notorious for poor security.
- Use different passwords for all accounts.
- Layer your protection by combining your password with additional factors, such as a fingerprint, a code sent to your phone, or a USB Key, you can fortify yourself, and others against common cyber crime like identity theft and social media account hijacking. (Intel)
- Use a password manager (generally an app) that assists in generating, storing, and retrieving complex passwords from an encrypted database.
- Be smart about malicious content like phishing emails and fake pop-up ads. If you don't know the sender, don't click!
If you are a business owner, your staff needs to be thoroughly trained in best practices for security. Read tips on how here.
If you are concerned about your enterprise security, contact the security experts at Great Lakes Computer. We can assess your current network setup and develop a more secure infrastructure to help prevent attacks. We can also put backup and recovery functions in place in the event an attack is successful. To help you recover after a breach, we have also partnered with an organization that can provide you with Cyber Liability Insurance to cover the many costs associated with a cybersecurity hack. Your business' security is our top priority.