Business Tip: Secure Your Passwords
Raise your hand if you use the same password for everything! You are not alone. Yet here is something to consider in doing so:
There are thousands of hackers working all around the clock using decrypting software to hack emails, firewalls, your website, etc. Sad thing is that they have great success when your password is not strong, if you are using a weak password with a free email account such as hotmail or gmail, and/or if you have a weak password on a website that is on a shared server. Yes, these people do not have a life and have terrible karma, but this is what they do for their living and they are serious about getting results. Therefore, if you have only one password for everything, and that password is discovered, then that hacker can essentially have access to all of your accounts.
Password Strength and Security Measures
So what can you do?
- Create a new password for each account.
- Create a secure password for each account with great password strength, such as something that is 8 characters long with at least 1 number, one upper case letter, and one punctuation mark.
- Do not provide passwords to people who do not need to have access to your accounts; provide them the information they are trying to gain instead. If you are working with someone who does need to gain access, such as a web designer, send your passwords through secure methods, such as sending passwords by calling on the phone, or possibly by text or by fax. Do NOT send them through your email, especially through free email accounts on shared servers, such as your gmail, hotmail, aol account, etc.
- Create a separate user account for other people accessing your accounts and limit their access so they cannot be an administrator.
It takes a little extra effort to ensure the security of your accounts. However, the effort in protecting passwords is often less than trying to deal with a hacker after the fact.
With 100+ passwords, keeping track of them can be challenging. However there are some password management techniques that can help keep your passwords in order. These include:
- Writing passwords down and keeping them in a safe deposit box or a locked cabinet file.
- Password management software with encryption options.
- Have one electronic file with all of your passwords on it that requires a master, strong password to access it.
These are just some ways to protect your accounts (and yourself) against the growing number of hackers. Take a moment to keep your email and web accounts secure now so you can avoid dealing with hacker-aftermath later.