9 Tips to Improve Your Password Security
The digital world can be a scary place, with hackers waiting to pounce on every screen. Although there have been recent advances in password authentication technologies, sometimes users still must utilize traditional passwords in order to log into their accounts. So, how can you make sure your passwords are the best they can be to ensure your private information is secure? Consider the following things when attempting to improve the password security of your business:
1. Password Length
Long story short, the more characters in your password, the more difficult it is to crack. It is recommended that passwords be at least eight to ten characters long.
2. Password Reuse
Reusing passwords is always a bad idea, as an exposed password will automatically be used to try to gain access to all your accounts. Make sure to use a new password for each account.
3. Password Management Tools
Password managers are helpful tools that allow you to have one strong password used to access a storehouse of passwords for the rest of your accounts. This way, you are only responsible for remembering a single password rather than hundreds.
4. Two-Factor Authentication
To double up the security on your account, you can opt to use two-factor authentication, which requires a one-time PIN on top of your password.
5. Security Question Answers
The answers you supply to security questions should be treated as secondary passwords. Most of the time, users' answers are short and simple, which makes their accounts more susceptible to attacks.
The more unique and random the password, the better. Don't rely on yourself to come up with something unique, as our brains are wired to make connections. Try using a trusted password generator instead.
7. Password Storage
Passwords should not be stored in a text file, as hackers can steal all of them in one attempt. Using a password manager instead can ensure your passwords are encrypted and organized.
8. Frequent Password Changes
Contrary to popular belief, frequently changing your password can be counterproductive for password security. This can become an arduous task for employees, decreasing the chances of them creating a strong password.
9. New Password Screening
The NIST now recommends the screening of new passwords against lists of things such as commonly used passwords, words found in the dictionary, and proper nouns to ensure yours is the strongest it can be.