Reports about data breaches of large corporations on the news seems to come more frequently these days. Some of the more recent ones involve companies like Delta, Panera Bread, and Best Buy. But smaller businesses can be even bigger targets of cyber criminals looking to gain access to payment information or other sensitive data.
Data breaches have continued to be on the rise for several years. So far this year, there have been over 668 data breaches with more than 22 million records exposed. (Statista) They wreak havoc on many businesses causing loss of customer trust and potential fines associated with data privacy regulations.
The truth is, many small businesses never fully recover from a data breach.
When it comes to providing data security in Cicero, Magnify247.com protects our clients’ networks with a multi-layered approach. Firewalls and strong anti-malware are just a part of the protection companies need, and another crucial piece is good password management.
The strongest security software can be bypassed if the hacker has a login password, which is why password management is just as crucial for keeping your data protected.
Read on to learn our best tips for strong and secure passwords and how to manage multiple passwords more easily.
Why are Passwords Important for Data Security?
Many people imagine the hackers we see in the movies, behind a dark computer screen furiously typing scripts to get past some code on a company’s server to breach the system. But using a stolen password is a much more common way in.
81% of data breaches in 2017 were caused by hacked passwords. (CSO)
Hacking a password has become the #1 way into a company’s network to steal sensitive information. As security software and next-gen firewalls have made breaching a network by other means more difficult, hackers have flocked to the path of least resistance… easy to crack passwords.
Many computer users unfortunately develop the same types of bad habits when it comes to login passwords:
- Using too simple passwords
- Using the same password for everything
- Using personal information in a password (like birthdate)
- Using passwords that are too short
But, with some focus on password security, you can not only help your staff break those bad habits, you can also greatly decrease your chances of a data breach at your company.
Tips for Excellent Password Management
Here are Magnify247.com’s best tips for strong and secure password management. Whether you’re a local business in Cicero or anywhere else, these can help you stay safe and protect yours and your clients’ sensitive information.
Use Passwords at Least 8 Characters Long
Short passwords are much easier to hack than longer ones, so the longer, the better. A good password length is at least 8 characters long.
Use a Combination of Numbers, Symbols, and Cases
Adding in a number, symbol, and combination of uppercase and lowercase letters can take an “easy” password to “difficult” in no time and greatly increase your login security.
Use Tricks to Remember Difficult Passwords
Most people use easy passwords because they can remember them. But you can increase the difficulty while keeping them memorable. Use words and numbers that you can remember but that don’t typically go together. Like “zEbraumbreLla62:)”
Keep Passwords Unique to Each Login
If you use the same password for online banking, your iTunes account, and to log in to your company’s network, a hacker only has to guess one password to access all those locations. Make different passwords for each login for added security.
Use a Password Manager App
If the thought of trying to remember all those strong passwords for each different login has your head spinning, you can get some relief with a password manager. These tools have encryption to keep passwords safe, can create strong passwords for you, and you only need one master password to use them.
Don’t Tape Your Password to Your Computer/Laptop
If you accidentally lose your laptop while traveling or commuting and the password is taped to the bottom, it’s like leaving your car open with the keys in the ignition. If you write down passwords as a safeguard, don’t keep them on or near the device they’re for.
Interested in a Full Security Review?
Don’t leave your company open to a data breach. Contact Magnify247.com for a full security review, including recommendations on good password management.
We can ensure your Indiana business stays safe with affordable cybersecurity solutions.