20 May 12345…Once I guessed your password right?
Technology can be complicated! Every day almost every one of us, juggle multiple devices. It is not uncommon to be using a Mobile, Tablet or Laptop and that’s without the addition of a computer at work. Add to this the very nature of our technology, with many tools and applications requiring a login and life has suddenly become far more complex.
In the 2014 survey by Cyber Streewise they concluded, that in the UK we now have an average of 19 passwords. Now bearing in mind I can barely remember my children’s dates of birth, for some of us the challenge of just logging in, is a cause for stress. 1 in 3 people questioned in the survey, admitted that they too struggle to remember their passwords, but a whopping 45% of us admitted to using… well rather weak passwords. Splashdata who review password leaks and hacks often prepare a list of the worst passwords, and maybe yours is on it?
These include such wonderfully complex, and thought out passwords such as:
- Or “Your name plus year of birth”
It is important to remember that your business and privacy are only as secure as your weakest password. Are you confident none of your staff have opted for a no brainer of a password like those above? Don’t panic!
There are some simple steps you can take to stay protected.
1. Ensure you create strong and complex passwords.
Cyber criminals will have a wealth of tools to guess weak passwords. The first step in creating a strong password is to make it long. As a minimum we would recommend a password at least 8 characters long. Also use a mix of upper and lower case letters, mix in numbers and symbols to create a complex and strong password.
2. Change your passwords on a regular basis
Try to change your password every 30-60 days, if your memory is bad set yourself a reminder in outlook or a mobile reminder.
3. Privacy pays dividends
Making sure your passwords are private seems like common sense, and many of us will sit back feeling pretty good about the fact we don’t share. That said it is not uncommon for colleagues to sometimes share password logins, it is also not uncommon for the odd laptop to have a wonderful yellow post it note stuck to a screen with a scribbled password upon it. Tip – avoid writing passwords down on paper or email.
4. Avoid reusing passwords
A one password for all approach may seem like a good idea that is until someone gets hold of it. Ensure you have differing passwords for each login. By doing this you mitigate risks, should your password become compromised.
5. Use useful tools for password management
Let’s be honest, having complicated and strong passwords is great but the likely hood is you may well struggle to remember XC3£%234hfksD3 (this isn’t one of our passwords). A good solution is to use a password management application. These store your encrypted passwords, (further protected by a Master password) removing the need to take memory management courses! At Netcom we have been using a tool for this very purpose called LastPass which has proven to be a very useful tool indeed, especially for myself and the aging members of the team.
Cyber threats are top of the security concerns of any business. Having your business compromised due to weak passwords, could deliver severe punishments. The penalties for data breeches are increasing and the average costs of a breach to a UK SME now stands at around £48k in damages and reactive spend.
Can your business afford to take the risk? Your passwords are your first line of defence, and as such should be taken seriously, at a personal and professional level.
If you would like to ensure you or your business are protected from Cyber threats, talk to our helpful team ,on 0871 230 0417