Did you know that there’s a day dedicated to the importance of strong passwords? It’s World Password Day, and it lands on the first Thursday in May. World Password Day was created to bring awareness to the need for solid passwords and the impact they can have on keeping your private information safe. Secure passwords have only become more crucial, especially now that most people conduct their work online.
When was the last time you changed your password? Take World Password Day as your cue to immediately change the passwords of your emails, social media accounts, and most importantly, accounts storing your personal information and encourage others to do the same.
Here are some more helpful password tips to keep in mind beyond World Password Day to further protect your data:
- Include numbers and symbols in your passwords and avoid the use of everyday words that are easily guessed. Consider instead, using passphrases. Passphrases are a string of words that are typically longer than a traditional password and can range from 10 to even 100 characters long. The intent of a passphrase is for it to be something that you can easily remember, but difficult to track for scammers.
- Set expiration dates for organizational passwords so that team members have to reset them after a certain period of time. Depending on the sensitivity of your data, this timeframe could differ, but most organizations have employees reset their passwords every 60 or 90 days. It’s also a great practice to use for your personal accounts too, regularly changing your password is essential for keeping accounts safe.
- Don’t duplicate your password across multiple accounts. This makes it easier for a scammer to access more information by only hacking one account. Passwords should vary for each of your accounts and should not be written down if possible. Instead, use a password management tool. Password management tools store passwords in a safe and encrypted manner so you can access them with ease without fear of them being hacked. There are apps and web tools available for password management depending on your preference.
- Use two-factor authorization (2FA) wherever possible. 2FA adds an extra layer of security to accounts by requiring a numerical code sent either by text, phone call or email in addition to entering the correct password. Many organizations require this method when accessing their company resources remotely via VPN in order to ensure data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. There are also 2FA options for more personal accounts like Google and Amazon that you should be using if you aren’t already.
Setting diverse and complex passwords may seem like a pain, but at the end of the day, codes like “Password123!” aren’t keeping your information safe. Hackers are using more sophisticated ways to access people’s passwords and the best defense is habitually changing your codes for strong ones that are uniquely personal to you.
At BerganKDV, we help organizations develop strong security strategies that include password protocols to ensure their private data remains secure with best practices for the future. Interested in seeing how your organization’s security measures currently stack up? Take BerganKDV’s free mini-security assessment here. This will provide you with a baseline look at potential threats and strengths in your technology and organizational infrastructure.
If you have additional questions about tactics you can take to protect your organization, contact us today and we’d be happy to discuss them further.