We are in an age of unprecedented digital technology and connectivity. As a result, businesses face an ever-increasing risk of cyber-attacks and security breaches. Just glance at the news to see how frequently such incidents occur. These attacks and breaches can be extremely costly and debilitate a business’s vitality and reputation. One of the most commonly exploited areas of a security system is the password. Attacks on passwords can occur physically on-site or through online brute-force attacks.

Consider the following five points to create and maintain a more secure password:

  • Keep it long: The length of a password is much more important than its complexity. A lengthy password takes much longer to crack than a shorter one, even if a short password has complex characters. Experts suggest a minimum length of between 12 to 15 characters. Avoid single words. It may help to use a phrase or sentence to reach a beneficial length.
  • Add some complexity: While length is key, adding complexity to your password (such as uppercase letters, numbers, dashes, spaces, and other special characters) will strengthen it. Complexity adds an additional obstacle for would-be hackers. Hackers look for simple words, phrases, and patterns. As noted above, consider using a pass-phrase instead of a word. This adds to both the complexity of the password and your ability to remember it.
  • Make it unique: Don’t use personal data, general details about your life, or any information that could be reasonably guessed in your passwords. Avoid common words and phrases, such as common dictionary words, sequential letters or numbers, the word “password,” etc. As a general rule, stay away from these commonly used passwords.

Author: Jared Walker, Senior Records Analyst at Zasio Enterprises, Inc.