Part of maintaining online security is having strong, secure passwords. By making sure that you use strong passwords and change them often, you can reduce the risk of your information getting stolen. We’ve rounded up some best practices for you in how you and your employees can create and maintain secure passwords.
Password Best Practices for IT Security
Make it Long
Use a Manager
When choosing your password, make sure you use a variety of uppercase and lowercase letters as well as various special characters and numbers. Avoid number sequences like 1234 or common words and patterns such as qwerty or password.
Recycling is for cardboard and aluminum, not your internet passwords. Make sure each account has its own password. A google survey found that at least 65% of people reuse passwords across multiple sites. This means that if one account gets leaked, other accounts may be affected as well. This can be disastrous for a business if employees use their work email and credentials as that puts the business’s sensitive data at risk.
Don't Use Personal Information
We know it is hard coming up with lots of different password ideas from scratch. But you need to avoid using birthdates, anniversaries, and names that can be easily derived from social media profiles. Some websites have a catch error that make using your name as part of your password impossible, but not all. So be careful.
Make it Long
Use passwords longer than six characters when possible. For maximum protection, use at least 12 letters, characters, and numbers.
Make sure to review your passwords and change them frequently. At pim, we recommend changing all your passwords quarterly, or every 90 days.
Use a Password Manager
Keeping up with a large number of long passwords can be a hassle. And the last thing you want is to have a bunch of sticky notes with passwords on them around your office. Using a password manager allows you to keep all your online credentials in one secure location, making your online experience safer and provides a convenient way that is fast and secure to access all your accounts and websites.
Many password managers also have password generators that can help you as you keep your passwords updated and secure. Some passwords managers have costs associated with them, but there are many reliable free options as well. Many browsers come with them as well as many mobile operating systems.
By choosing a complex password that is changed regularly, as well as implementing multifactor authentication, you will be better able to keep yourself, your network, and your organization secure. Remember, good passwords are like underwear: change them often, the good ones are exotic, don’t share them, and never leave them lying around at the office.