As we use technology tools to manage more facets of business operations, the threat posed by hacking and identity theft grows. It’s a problem for major corporations with vast IT resources, said Bill Carey, vice president of marketing and business development at Siber Systems, a company that develops and distributes advanced software and password management products.
And, while personal passwords are very important, for small businesses it is even more so — password management is vital to protecting your data. Carey gives us five tips you can use to strengthen security with better password practices.
Make sure your password is easy to remember but difficult to guess: It may seem obvious, but many users fall into the trap of using publicly available information for their passwords, such as children’s names, college football teams or birth dates. It’s important to make sure your password isn’t in the dictionary — or your Facebook profile.
Consider using both uppercase and lowercase letters as well as numbers: Choose a password with no personal information that is at least six characters long and that contains both letters and numbers. Using uppercase and lowercase letters makes your password even more difficult to guess.
Substitute numbers that look like letters in your password: One way to easily incorporate numbers is to choose numerals that resemble letters. For example, the password “soldier” could be entered as “501dier,” rendering it much more difficult to guess.
Convert a favorite saying into a secure password: It’s easy to remember a favorite expression, and if you use the first letter of each word as your password, it will be difficult to crack. For example, the expression “Just another beautiful day in paradise” could be converted to “JABDiP.”
Use a keyboard mapping technique: Designate an adjacent keyboard key as the substitute for the key in your easy-to-remember password. For example, if you designated the upper-left key above your chosen password letter, you could convert the password “Baseball” into “Gqw3gqoo.”
By using these simple tips, you can make an easy password difficult to crack. This will go a long way toward protecting important business data.