The truth is, no matter how many times we see a warning about protecting our online identity, we take the easy route. It’s like the verification box we’re forced to check accepting the terms and conditions when we create a new online account, whether it’s for a Facebook or bank account. At most, we skim through the agreement and hope that nothing bad happens. And this mentality applies to everything. Unfortunately, that means that most people take the same approach when creating passwords. Creating strong and hard to guess passwords is difficult, so most of us instead opt to keep it simple and hope for the best!
Passwords are an extremely important component of protecting your online identity. They are the first line of defense against unauthorized access to your accounts and confidential information. The more complex your password is, the more difficult it is for hackers to break in.
Traditional password practices include selecting a word and adding numbers, uppercase letters, and special characters. For instance, it could be your cat’s name: Chl0e25@. Now, most of us would agree this password is complex, regardless of its length. However, the FBI has chimed in and clarified that longer passwords which include simple words and constructs, are better than short passwords with special characters.
A general rule of thumb is that your password should be at least 15 characters. The issue here is trying to remember multiple 15-character passwords. That’s why we recommend using passphrases. Passphrases are a string of words, that make it harder for cyber criminals to crack, while also making it easier for you to remember. A passphrase uses spaces and symbols. It also doesn’t have to be a proper sentence or grammatically correct. For example, it could be Chloe Luvs Her Yarn! What you use is entirely up to you but using passphrases can be a good way of locking down your accounts to prevent unauthorized access. In addition, to help remember all your passwords, you should consider using a password management program. There are many inexpensive and free password managers that use the same encryption as major banks.
To keep your business protected, it’s important to use long and complex passwords. A password is the first “lock” on the front door of your business. If a hacker cracks this open, they can rummage through your personal information and cause chaos. Don’t take the easy way out – use passphrases NOW!