Governments and businesses continue to be the target of cyber criminals attempting to steal confidential and proprietary information, such as credit card information, health information or corporate secrets. After an attack, companies and agencies are left struggling to determine and explain just how their data was stolen or compromised. As they work to recover, cyber security experts use these events to emphasize the importance of being prepared for a cyber attack. The one area that continues to be a key concern is creating strong passwords. While everyone knows the importance of this, it is still surprising just how many users remain to use “1234” as a password.
To increase cyber security and help protect you or your company’s digital identity, here are some tips on creating effective passwords:
- Use both alphanumeric and special characters
- Do not base your password on information that is publicly known (i.e., your birthday or spouse’s name)
- Use an untraditional combination of words that only you would remember
- Do not use the same password across multiple programs or websites
- Do not write down your password
Cyber security solution providers know that weak passwords are largely to blame for online security breaches. Hackers have access to a number of tools, such as dictionary-based systems, that are effective in cracking weak passwords. A secure password, however, is one that a hacker cannot easily guess or crack using software tools. While keeping to the tips listed above may seem inconvenient, doing so can protect you and your company or agency from facing extremely compromising situations in the future.