Business owners must strike a careful balance between maintaining easy access to digital files and safeguarding the business’s confidential data. Hackers are becoming more and more sophisticated, which means it’s more important than ever to use secure passwords for all your files and devices.
To stay safe, your business’s password security must evolve to keep pace with advancing risks. Make sure you understand why passwords are important, how hackers can crack them and how to choose the right password security to protect your organization.
Why Secure Passwords Are Important
All professionals must take steps to safeguard their data and devices from unauthorized access, but financial professionals must also consider their ethical requirements to safeguard the data of clients and their case materials.
Passwords may be used to protect different types of confidential data, including emails, text messages, client documents, billing information, financial records and other sensitive data.
How Hackers Can Crack Your Password
Staying on top of password security can be challenging, as computer systems become more advanced, hackers become more sophisticated and data becomes more vulnerable. You may have noticed that popular websites and applications prompt you to update your password more frequently and require users to choose stronger and better passwords. This is because hackers may be able to guess weak passwords and use technology to hack even moderately secure passwords.
With new technology, some hackers are able to crack simple passwords of up to 10 characters instantly. Even properly chosen passwords that include numbers, symbols, uppercase and lowercase letters can be cracked in just a few minutes to hours if they are shorter than eight characters long.
Many computer users still choose passwords that are easy to guess and there are now billions of compromised and stolen passwords listed online. Using similar passwords for different websites can allow a hacker to access multiple accounts. Plus, a hacker who finds one of your passwords may be able to guess others.
How to Pick Secure Passwords
Choosing a good password for all your business logins can protect you from getting hacked and minimize the risks to business and client data. The following points can help ensure your password is safe:
- Create secure passwords. Use uppercase and lowercase letters and numbers with a length of at least 8 characters long. Don’t use nicknames, birthdays or words in the dictionary.
- Avoid reusing old passwords. Passwords that are compromised can represent a permanent vulnerability. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg once faced a hack due to a reused password.
- Use a unique password for everything. Prevent small hacks from turning into major ones. Differentiate your passwords to keep hackers from being able to access more than one of your logins.
- Try a password manager. Browser and cloud-based password managers use a master password to secure all your logins.
- Check for compromised passwords. Google Password Checkup and Mozilla Firefox Monitor can alert you if one of your logins has been compromised or exposed so you can change it.
- Choose secure reset options. With so many passwords to keep track of, it is important to choose good security questions and set up a backup email or phone number to keep you from losing access to your data.
- Set up two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication can send a confirmation text, call or other in-app security verification request to confirm your identity before allowing a logon from an unfamiliar device.
- Keep your passwords confidential. Never share your password with others, even within your business. Ensure everyone has their own access and login credentials.
Make sure your business’s password security keeps pace with the evolving risks. Protect yourself from hacks and safeguard client confidentiality with more secure passwords.
Information provided by Lockton Affinity is not intended as legal advice.