Passwords: You first line of defense. Managing passwords effectively? Challenging, especially if you have a plethora of passwords. Below we share some helpful tips for taking your password management to the next level.
Understand Password Best Practices
- Ensure the complexity of passwords is set high by including three random words, a mix of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers (3756), and symbols (!#$%)
- Set your password to at least 16 characters
- Do not use commonly known names or numbers
- Schedule passwords to be changed every 90 days
- Do not store passwords on sticky notes or in Excel spreadsheets
Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Two-step authentication is a process that requires a user to have a single login, such as a password, as well as an additional similar type of login that is sent directly to the user. For example, you may have a password for your first step and then receive a one-use code on your cell phone or to your email as the second step. A two-step authentication just adds as extra step in verifying your identity and keeping your information more secure. However, this is not to be meant as a means of keeping hackers out.
Know How to Create Complex Passwords
Protect your business by using complex strings of passwords. Here’s some tips for creating those complex passwords:
- Three to four random words (e.g. Lights, Camera, Action)
- Upper- and lowercase (e.g. LightsCameraAction)
- Numbers (e.g. LightsCameraAction8)
- Special characters/symbols (e.g. LightsTechClouds8?)
Automate Password Expiration
It’s crucial to password security to implement password rotations. As users, we hold plenty of logins and often, even more passwords. Rotating, or changing, passwords frequently enhances your network security – but how often should you change them?
- If you’ve been breached – change your password instantly.
- Any other password should be rotated at a minimum of 3 months (90 days).
Do Not Store Your Passwords
Whether you’re on your phone, laptop or desktop, you’re almost always prompted to store your password. It might seem too obvious but it’s important to avoid storing passwords digitally (and even on paper!), as such information could be stolen by those with malicious intent.
Be Mindful About Cyber Security
No matter how strong your passwords are or how meticulous you are about safety, your passwords won’t be safe if you don’t have the appropriate security in place.
ECMSI offers a state-of-the-art, multi-level security suite to ensure your network and critical data is being protected. We offer a free network health assessment to answer your questions, show you where you’re vulnerable, and what our recommendations are to keep your network healthy and productive.