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How Secure Are Your Passwords?


Protecting your information with a password can seem like a simple task. You open a new account at a website, fill in the password you always use and proceed to use the site. But what most people don't realize is there a many common ways used to crack passwords. These common methods rely on simple human mistakes that put your information at risk. The attacker can then use a program to plugin common word and or character combinations until your password is cracked.

So you may be asking, “How can I create a strong password?” Here are some tips on what not to do:

  • When creating a password avoid using use personal information such as your name, age, address, birthdate, child’s name, pet’s name or favorite items. These things can be easily discoverable either physically or through social networks.

  • Don’t use short passwords. Strong passwords are at least 15 characters in length.

  • Avoid using common dictionary words or spelling the words backward. The Top 10,000 Most Common Passwords lists common words such as baseball, letmein, and monkey in the top 20 and the most commonly used password in the world is “password.”

  • Don’t repeat characters or use sequences. The second most commonly used password is 123456 followed by 12345678 and 1234.

Now that you have crafted a strong password, how do you keep it safe? Here are a few tips:

  • Have a unique password for each account. If you use one password for multiple accounts the attacker can gain access to more of your information with one crack.

  • Depending on the sensitivity of the information, change your passwords frequently

  • Never write the password down and be sure no one is watching you when you enter your password

  • Do not enter passwords on a public access computer

  • Do not leave your computer running unlocked and unattended

Using strong passwords in your business is a good risk management technique and can help prevent a breach of information. We also recommend getting a Cyber Liability policy to protect your business in the event of a breach. If you would like more information about Cyber Liability please contact either our Idaho Falls or Caldwell office.


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