The Ultimate Guide to Password Security

Peg Nov Wk  | Tier 1 Techs

Most people don’t take it seriously, but having a strong set of passwords can be the key to protecting your livelihood.  Think of all the platforms that you type a password in for; email, bank accounts, phones, work computers… the list goes on and on.

If one of your passwords gets hacked, what kind of information could a cybercriminal steal from you? Or, if they figure out one password, how many of your accounts would they be able to infiltrate with the same exact password?

Passwords are the holy grail for hackers, and there are decisive numbers to prove it.  Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report found that 80% of hacking-related breaches leveraged either stolen and/or weak passwords. This is up 27% from the 2016 report.

It’s vital to practice safe password security measures, so we compiled a list of tips to help get you there:

Password Security Tips

  • Never re-use passwords. The same report found that 70% of employees are reusing passwords at work, which enables criminals to access various accounts with ease. The first thing a hacker does when they compromise a password is to try that password on various sites and services.
  • Don’t use words discoverable on social media. This is a very common fallacy for many users.  If you constantly upload images of your family and pets to Facebook or Instagram, don’t incorporate their names into your passwords.  If your cat’s name is Roger and your password is Roger1234, you’re making it awfully easy for someone to guess your secret password.
  • Sequential key patterns aren’t that clever. Password crackers are well aware of the format of a keyboard. However, many people think it’s clever to use a password like Ty8ioP+ because it’s not only complex but easy for your fingers to type in since the keys are all right next to each other.   This is, unfortunately, an easy method for hackers to figure out.
  • Constantly changing your password isn’t smart. For years, experts have preached the necessity of periodically changing your password every couple of months. However, studies have found that this is counterproductive and actually results in people creating weaker passwords.
  • Screen passwords with expert software. At Tier 1 Techs, we have access to resources that will run your passwords alongside with commonly breached passwords, so you’ll know whether or not the password you chose is effective.

Do your employees need to freshen up on password security?
If so, contact the professionals at Tier 1 Techs for an employee seminar on password best practices.  In the meantime, print this off and make sure every employee reads it!