When we start working with a new client, one of the first items we discuss is security. I can’t tell you how many times a client will share a password with us and say its the same one for EVERYTHING! In this blog post we are going to give your some helpful tips on password security both for your personal use and business use. Just about everything we do in our lives can be managed or accessed online. We don’t want to make it easy for a person or a computer to hack into and steal your identity or property.
How Often Should I Change My Passwords?
You should always change your passwords if you feel that someone may know them, or if you used them while on a public open network. Its also a good practice to update your passwords annually. When you decide to update your passwords, please make sure you keep track of the passwords either mentally or though a password manager. We’ll talk about those options in a minute.
How Long Should My Password Be? What about Funky Characters?
The longer the password the better. The more characters the greater the odds that a person or a computer can not actually guess the right combination. Typically we like to suggest at least 3 words and at least 10 characters. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) also suggest 3 words that are not related and are hard to guess but easy to remember. There was a time not long ago when many company required password changes every 30 days, and they must contain numbers, letters, symbols etc. When it comes to computers trying to hack into accounts a key stroke is a key stroke regardless of the symbol. So adding these other “funky” characters as some have called them, do make your passwords more difficult for human to guess but don’t technically make them more secure.
Is It Possible to Remember All My Passwords?
We need passwords for everything and some surveys have found each of us has between 17-25 passwords to remember. Of course this is why it is easy to want to use the same password over and over. So how do you manage passwords, especially if you have a different one for each account? Well there are a number of secure programs and apps that help you to manage all your passwords in one place. The most secure for is something offline. Simply writing your passwords on a paper and placing it in a secure location, like a bank vault or where you store your other valuable documents is an option. Do keep in mind that some passwords or access codes may be difficult or impossible to recover if lost. While you are updating your will, or organizing your valuable documents, think about what might happen if you die and passwords are not somewhere safe for loved ones. Access to bank accounts, insurance policies and more may be very difficult to access.
Employees and Passwords
If your company has social media accounts, websites, online credit card processing and more, do you know who actually has access? This is important as employees can and will leave your business at some point. We always help our clients to set up the proper access to emails, documents, shared folders and access to other company accounts WITHOUT giving employees access they don’t need. Also, if an employee is fired, or they quit, what passwords are they taking with them? Do you, as a business owner, know which ones they have? Can you turn off their access quickly to prevent them having access to your valuable business information?
When you work with Red 3 Media, we look out for the safety of our clients. We have seen employees steal domains, post to social media and lock former employers from their own accounts. There is no better time to get started than today in protecting yourself and your business.