In today’s digital world, passwords are a necessary inconvenience — too important to overlook as a critical part of comprehensive security. Protecting your passwords means you’re protecting your data, which in turn keeps your most important identifiers — Social Security numbers, credit card information, home addresses, email accounts, and phone numbers — safe.
Passwords are often the first option for hackers trying to easily break into vulnerable computers and devices. Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report found that more than 50% of confirmed data breaches involved weak, default, or stolen passwords.
And whether it’s through keylogging viruses installed on individual computers, phishing attempts, or brute-force attacks that use computing power to run billions of combinations of numbers and letters in seconds, it’s not a matter of if hackers will figure out your password but when.
1) That’s why strong, unique passwords are so important.
Creating unique combinations that feature long strings of characters is crucial. Consider mixing upper- and lower-case numbers, letters, and symbols — think “p*sSw%rd#33” instead of “password33,” “MyD0gSp0t!” instead of “My Dog Spot,” or random words and symbols (use @ instead of a, 3 instead of E, * instead of i, or L instead of 1) instead of known phrases and characters.
2) Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts.
This one is as straightforward as it comes: if you use the same password for multiple accounts and one gets hacked, then all of the other logins (including all of its associated data) are at risk.
3) No matter how you manage your passwords, use two-factor authentication.
This form of double-layer security requires you to enter your normal password along with a unique code that’s sent via text or email. This one’s easy: if you have the ability to activate it, do it now. A new website, TurnOn2FA.com, includes step-by-step instructions for enabling this free feature on a variety of sites, apps, and accounts.
4) Don’t let those old online accounts compromise your password security.
Anytime there’s a major password hack, Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Twitter, and other popular services leap into action to protect their users. But the best kind of security is the proactive kind, so check your social media, email, and banking accounts periodically to ensure everything is in working order. If you only use Facebook, Twitter, or that old email account once a month, check those first.
5) Protection against password theft is available with Internet filtering services and advanced endpoint security software.
Speaking of a proactive approach, maintenance and monitoring services like CMIT Marathon come with built-in anti-virus, anti-malware, and anti-spyware software that can stop malicious password-hacking viruses in their tracks. That includes patches and fixes for Java, Adobe, Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Office… Comprehensive security with multiple layers is possible — especially with an experienced IT provider and a mobile-optimized, cloud-based password management solution designed specifically for the business community on your side.
In today’s online world, password security is paramount. That’s why CMIT Solutions takes the safety of your data seriously. To protect yourself and those you work with, strong passwords (and even stronger password management solutions) should always be used. If you’re unsure about the security of your passwords and want to keep your information safe, contact CMIT Solutions today.