If you have a business today you need to be vigilant about online security. Passwords are one of the most essential tools, as part of your business cybersecurity plan, to protect you against hackers. Here are 10 password security tips to safeguard your business.
Top 10 Password Security Tips to Keep for a Safer Business
1. Don’t Use Obvious Sequences of Letters or Numbers
Believe it or not, many people still use passwords such as 1234 or ABCD because they’re so easy to remember. Keep in mind that if you can easily remember a password it’s also easy for someone else to guess.
2. Keep Passwords Concise
Make sure your password is at least eight characters long and use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. On the other hand, don’t make it too long. If it’s more than 10 characters it gets to be hard to remember.
3. Change Your Passwords Regularly
Another safe business protocol is to frequently change passwords. Even the strongest password becomes less secure if it’s used too often. It’s a good policy to change passwords at least every three to six months. And, a password should be changed immediately when an employee leaves your company.
4. Use Different Passwords for Different Accounts
If a hacker gains access to one account you at least want to minimize the damage. If you use the same password everywhere, you risk having all of your accounts compromised at once. Use a different password for each account.
5. Use Two-Factor Authentication
This added layer of security helps prevent hackers from gaining access to your accounts even if they somehow obtain your password. This compels you to enter a PIN via email, text, or an app before you can access your account.
6. Store Passwords in a Safe Place
Another frequent mistake that violates safe business practices is carelessly storing passwords where they can be easily found. Even the strongest password isn’t secure if you write it on a sticky note and attach it to your desk or computer. Nor is it a good idea to store passwords in a text file that can be easily opened. A safer option is a secure password manager app.
7. Alternate Symbols with Numbers and Letters
One common password mistake is to bunch together letters and numbers. It’s harder for anyone to break your password if you mix things up. Rather than using 7459AUC$@, make it 7@9u$4Ca. These two passwords contain the same characters but the second one is harder to break. It’s also good to use both upper- and lower-case letters.
8. Test the Strength of your Passwords
There are online tools that measure how secure a password is. Some sites include this service when you choose a password, rating your choice as weak, medium or secure. Such sites may also suggest strong passwords for you. Microsoft and other companies offer password testing tools as well.
9. Avoid Using Real Words or Names
It’s fairly obvious that you shouldn’t use your own name or those of your kids, spouse or pets. Nor should you use words that have any association with you such as your favorite sports team. However, you should take this a step further and avoid ALL names and dictionary words. Hackers use sophisticated software that can search thousands of words in seconds. It’s safer to use random sequences of letters and numbers.
10. Have a Company-Wide Security Policy in Place
Aside from password security, it’s important to use common sense and follow basic cybersecurity and business security measures throughout your business. Using a firewall and a reliable virus and malware scanner help keep your computers safe. Be careful about leaving devices unattended. Keep your employees educated on safe business practices and make sure everyone is on board with your security measures.
These password security tips will go a long way towards keeping your business and its information safe. You and everyone in your organization need to be vigilant about security at all times. Hackers are opportunists who look for weak points in your systems. Don’t give them any openings and they will usually move on to easier targets. These password security tips will help you maintain better security for your business information. Improving security is an essential aspect of running a successful business in the modern world. Another crucial element is having sufficient cash flow.
Lack of cash flow is a common problem that prevents many small businesses from reaching their true potential. One of the simplest and most powerful ways to improve your cash flow is to get invoice factoring, a process that lets you get paid for accounts receivable up front.