Computer password security holds great importance for businesses in a wide range of industries. If hackers guess or gain access to passwords, they could potentially steal your company’s funds, read private messages or use customer data for illegal purposes.

Password Security

These tips can help you prevent such disasters:

1. Train employees to develop complex passwords and handle them properly. For instance, staff members should know not to write these words on sticky notes or save them in a Word document. Urge office workers to use codes that contain a combination of at least eight letters and numbers.

2. No one should choose common passwords like “123456” or “qwerty.” Hackers easily guess them because so many people use these codes. In the same manner, it’s best to avoid facts that criminals might find on personal websites or social media pages. A few examples include marriage dates, birthdays, favorite activities and nicknames.

  • Avoid popular movie names
  • Longer words boost security
  • Don’t use names of pets

3. A computer science instructor at Carnegie Mellon University recently warned people about the placement of certain characters. Most users arrange them in predictable locations. As Wired Magazine reported, the instructor said, “Put your digits, symbols and capital letters spread throughout the middle of your password, not at the beginning or end.”

4. Even when you and your employees use highly sophisticated passcodes, hackers can still intercept them with keyloggers. This malicious software records every keystroke and transmits it over the Internet. You may reduce the risk by installing anti-spyware utilities. Remember to scan each computer on a regular basis.

5. Don’t download any unnecessary software. It’s not worth risking a keylogger infection to install a fancy screensaver. Legitimate software websites don’t always succeed in detecting the viruses that malware distributors “bundle” with certain programs. Be sure to establish a strict download policy and inform staff members about it.

6. Never use the same password to secure more than one account. This will worsen the consequences if a criminal guesses the word or accesses it by hacking into a database. When hackers infiltrate email accounts, they can use password retrieval functions to gather login details from additional services.

7. If you write down passwords, keep them in a locked drawer. Consider recording them in a small notebook rather than on an obvious piece of paper. An alternative is to to install a high-quality password manager, software that creates complex passcodes and securely keeps track of them, according to PC World.

8. Require staff members to update passwords at least once every year. Hackers find it harder to breach systems with login details that change regularly. This also limits how long they can have undetected access to an account. However, don’t expect people to change passcodes every 30 or 60 days. Such policies often promote weaker passwords.

9. If you have control over the login procedure, don’t allow users to try a dozen different passwords. Some hackers use software to automatically guess a variety of letter and number combinations, so it’s wise to limit how many times a person can guess before contacting an administrator.

10. Avoid setting an employee’s email address as his or her username for a separate account. Criminals can often gather these addresses by browsing websites, reading newsletters or contacting a business. Although they still need to obtain or guess the password, finding a username is the first step toward hacking into an account.

Password security demands considerable time and expertise, but it’s worth the effort to prevent costly breaches. Many different businesses trust Vertical IT to keep them up to date on the newest IT tips and developments. To learn more, please dial (888) 505-8215 or contact today.

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