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5 Tips for password security

IT users and consumers need to ensure they create strong passwords which are almost impossible to hack. All too often, IT users can get complacent where IT security is concerned. Just because your systems have never been hacked, it does not mean they are immune. It is vital to take the necessary precautions.

In terms of ensuring the integrity of your network and data, strong passwords are the first line of defence. They prevent hackers from gaining access to confidential and sensitive data, ensuring the long-term viability of your business.

As such, it is important to ensure you use a great password to prevent unauthorised entry to all PCs and devices. Creating a password that is near-impossible to guess should be a straightforward task and it could make all the difference where business continuity is concerned.

Here are our top five tips for password security: 

  1. Avoid common passwords

Strong passwords are the cornerstone of cyber security, forming an impregnable barrier against cyber threats. In today’s interconnected world, where data breaches loom large, the importance of robust password security cannot be overstated. Hackers incessantly probe for vulnerabilities, seeking to exploit weak passwords as the gateway to your sensitive information. 

Some passwords are relatively easy to guess – simply because so many people use them. Out of laziness more than anything else, many PC owners use their company name, ‘password’, ‘admin’ or ‘123456’ as their access code. In many other instances, the password field is left entirely blank, meaning anyone can log on to the system. 

Crafting a formidable password is more than a mere formality – it’s a strategic imperative. The strength of your password directly correlates with the resilience of your defences. A password that is intricate and cryptic serves as an insurmountable obstacle for would-be intruders, thwarting their nefarious intentions. 

  1. Avoid using family names

People often use family names, or those of their pets as their PC password. Particularly in the social media age, it may be relatively simple for hackers to establish the names of close relatives and friends, allowing these to be tested as potential passwords. Choosing a word with no obvious connection to you – preferably one that is not even in the dictionary – is a much safer option.

The utilisation of family names or pet names as passwords is akin to handing cyber criminals the keys to your digital kingdom on a silver platter. It renders your accounts alarmingly vulnerable to exploitation, inviting unauthorised access and potential breaches.

  1. Use a mix of letters and numbers

The most difficult passwords to work out are those which include both letters and numbers mixed in together. These passwords will not be found in any custom dictionary as they do not exist – other than in your imagination and as a system entry code. Just make sure you have a way of remembering the password, or a very safe place to keep a written version – one that is well away from your PC or mobile device. It is also a good idea to use both high and low caps lock. 

In essence, the fusion of letters and numbers in your passwords represents a proactive stance towards cyber security, fortifying your digital perimeter against evolving threats. By embracing diversity and complexity in password selection, you erect formidable barriers that deter cyber adversaries and safeguard your sensitive information from unauthorised access. Remember, the strength of your passwords is the linchpin of your cyber security posture. 

  1. Keep different passwords

Although it may create something of a memory challenge at first, creating different passwords for each account you have is a sensible idea. For instance, you should not use the same code to access your PC and your online banking – if one password is hacked, it could leave other personal and company accounts exposed. 

Consider the ramifications of using a singular password across multiple accounts: a breach in one platform compromises the security of all linked accounts, exponentially amplifying the potential fallout. Cyber criminals capitalise on this vulnerability, exploiting compromised credentials to orchestrate a domino effect of unauthorised access, financial fraud, and identity theft. 

  1. Refresh your passwords

It is advisable to change passwords regularly, several times a year if possible. A good habit to get into, this further reduces the risk of your accounts getting hacked. It may well be that you never attract the attention of malicious third parties, but it is always better to be safe than sorry where IT security is concerned. 

By adhering to these password security best practices, you fortify your digital presence against malicious intrusions. However, maintaining robust cybersecurity requires ongoing vigilance and adaptation to evolving threats. To bolster your defences further or seek expert guidance tailored to your specific needs, don’t hesitate to reach out to us 

To speak to one our specialists about your IT security, give us a call on 020 8987 1150.

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