COVID-19: WEEKLY TIP #3
When a worldwide crisis like a pandemic or large-scale natural disasters happen businesses become even more vulnerable to hacking as they transition more of their business functions onto cloud services and remote working platforms. Having weak passwords could mean putting your data and your client's data at risk. This is not the time to repair your reputation from private data that's hacked. According to a 2019 Data Breach Quick View Report, 5,183 breaches were reported within the first nine months of 2019, exposing 7.9 billion records. We recommend practicing these sound techniques to improve strength of a password for your business.
Steps you can take to improve strength of a password:
- Passwords should be between 15 to 24 characters long - the longer and more complicated the better.
- Use the first letters of a passphrase that also contains a number, a symbol, and is easy to remember. For example, the passphrase "I love information technology because of my curiosity for hidden information and patterns in our Data," will become @21litbomc4hi&pioD2@
- Don't use common or simple words within your password. For example, a pet's name, your child's birthday, 123, or the word "password."
- Each of your accounts should have a unique password of its own. No duplicates.
- Use a password manager (we recommend LastPass) that can create, store, and manage unique passwords. However, keep in mind that if a hacker breaks your password manager password, all your accounts will be at risk.
- Change ALL your passwords every three months. Set a reminder in your calendar and include staff members on the invite to remind them to change passwords.
If you are worried your password strength isn't good enough, use a password checker.
As small businesses continue to store their customer's data in the cloud and within SaaS software such as business intelligence and HR software platforms, the risks of a breach happening will continue to grow. Hackers will continue to develop sophisticated ways to steal that information, and experts believe we will continue to see a rise in breaches.
One way we can combat cybercrime is to practice password strength with the steps above. It may take you additional time to come up with a stronger password, but it could significantly reduce your risks as a business owner.
Want more tips for setting up safe Work From Home networks? Check out our Work From Home Gameplan.
Reach out to our team if you have any questions.