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    March 28, 2016

    Passwords 101

    rsz_mation_031616.jpgPasswords. For many business professionals, they're nothing more than that pesky gateway between you and your email account or company website. But for security purposes, passwords can be one of your strongest defense mechanisms against hackers. Passwords are essential for keeping business data safe and secure, and yet too many professionals use weak passwords—or none at all.

    Why Care About Passwords?

    Passwords are often dismissed as a hassle. After all, who's going to guess that your password is pw1234—or even care? You may be surprised. You may think your company email inbox doesn't hold anything of value, but for the right (or wrong) or person, it's worth hacking.

    Why would someone want your data?

    • To hack personal information: Often, a hacker isn't after company data so much as employee, customer, or client data. If your email contains confidential personal information, a hacker can use this information to scam and commit identity fraud.
    • To access company secrets: Corporate espionage is a constant worry, and you don't want to be the weakest line of defense.

    What Makes a Good Password?

    A good password is one that follows a few common-sense guidelines and one that changes often. Avoid the common mistake of using the same password for all of your accounts, and instead, download an app to store all of your passwords securely, so you don't forget them.

    A password should:

    • Be at least 16 character long
    • Contain a combination of symbols, numbers, upper and lowercase letters, and spaces
    • Be free of repetition (i.e. 909090)
    • Not use dictionary words
    • Not mimic your name or username
    • Avoid pronouns, birth dates, and anniversary dates

    One easy trick, courtesy of Dennis O'Reilly's guide to mastering the art of passwords, is to create a phrase that you can remember and turning it into a password. For instance, your phrase could be "Spring break 2016 in Hawai'i this March will be amazing," making your password Sb2016iH'tMwba. It's complex, but you'll remember it.

    For more on keeping your office secure, contact us.

    Ronnie Hay

    Ronnie Hay is the Marketing Director for UBEO.

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