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National Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Passwords

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National Cybersecurity Awareness Month Password

Password Protection – National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

It’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month! We’re encouraging everyone in their workplaces to take ownership of their activity online. This means to be aware of the links your clicking, emails you open or reply to, password management, etc. If we all do our part, we can implement better security practices and raise awareness around cybersecurity. “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.”

CRI Advantage is excited to celebrate National Cybersecurity Awareness Month this October. We’ll be sharing our best practices each week with you. Be sure to follow along.

 

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Week One | October 4: Be Cyber Smart – Password Protection

Passwords are something that everyone has but no one seems to understand how to manage. Password management isn’t tricky, but you need to understand the basic password management best practices.

 

1)   Choosing a password

When it comes to choosing a password, don’t worry about complexity. Password cracking comes down to a computer program. A computer program doesn’t care if it’s a complex password like characters, special characters, punctuation marks, etc.

It’s all about character length – check out this video for a better explanation:

 

2)   Separate your personal passwords and business passwords

Don’t use the same passwords for your personal and business accounts. You don’t want to use the same passwords for both for many reasons, if a hacker gets ahold of one of your accounts, they will have access to all your accounts. This not only puts you at risk but it puts your company at risk as well. Not to mention if one account is hacked, you will end up needing to change all passwords on all accounts – which could be a tedious process.

  1. It makes things challenging if/when an employee wants to leave a company. Handing off passwords should be an easy feat. Don’t make it more difficult for yourself or employees. What if you can’t reach out or get ahold of an employee and you need passwords far after an employee has left?
  2.  It also makes things difficult for your company, they could lose access to critical data or important accounts. It’s a business’s responsibility to ensure that passwords are managed properly, to avoid serious loss.

3)   Use a password manager

A password manager is a tool that will store passwords and even generate secure passwords for you. We always advocate a password manager of some kind. One password manager for personal, one for business. Again, you want to keep these two accounts on separate password management portals, if you were to leave your workplace, it could be difficult to retrieve those passwords again. This protects both you and your company. Your business can rest easy knowing they always have full access to all company accounts, keeping their data safe even if employees leave.

Here are some examples:

  • LastPass – secure password manager that stores all your usernames and passwords in one safe place called a Vault. After you save a password to your Vault, LastPass always remembers it for you.
  • Bitwarden – free open-source password manager for individuals, teams, and businesses.
  • 1Password – a cloud-based tool that will remember your passwords for you with a single tap.
  • Dashlane – a simple tool that fills all your passwords, payments, and personal details wherever you need them, across the web, on any device.

4)   Are your passwords secure?

Even if you have a great password when a website is hacked your password is no longer secure. It’s in your best interest to be aware of what websites have been hacked and if your passwords have been compromised.

A great place to start is visiting websites that can tell you if you’ve been hacked. Check out this video for more information:

If your passwords have been compromised, you’ll want to reset your passwords immediately.

5)   Turn 2-factor authentication on

This is a best practice. It can sometimes be annoying to have to take that extra step but always make sure you are using 2-factor authentication. Businesses should ensure their employees are using it. It may not always be easy to implement employees changing their passwords often, but companies should highly encourage their employees to use 2-factor authentication to better protect critical data.

 

Wanting to get more information about password management? Or needing help to better secure your systems? Talk to us today and let us help you.

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