How to Keep Passwords Safe: 5 Tips for Better Password Security

Published November 25, 2019

How to Keep Passwords Safe: 5 Tips for Better Password Security

Knowing how to keep passwords safe can help prevent costly attacks. Ransomware attacks, for example, are growing more expensive. The town of Lake City, Florida, had to pay $460,000 in order to get access back to their email servers.

Read on to see some of the techniques you can use to help keep your workplace secure. 

1. Longer Passwords Are Harder to Crack

One of the simplest ways that you can improve the security of your password is by changing it to a passphrase. Brute-force hacking techniques will rapidly try different letter and number combinations to break into your system. A longer passphrase, like “howmuchwoodcouldawoodchuckchuck,” is both simple to remember and very hard to force. 

2. Enable Two-Factor Authentication

If you don’t already have two-factor authentication set up at your company, you should seriously consider it. To log in, a user needs to enter a code that is texted or emailed to them. This makes security breaches less likely since a hacker will need both a password and access to another account or device to enter. 

The other upside of 2FA is that if someone tries to access a user’s account, they’ll be notified. This makes it easier for you to identify and address potential breaches. It also gives users the chance to change their passwords, because they’ll know the old one has been compromised. 

3. Get Employees to Keep Passwords Unique

Password breaches are much more likely if an employee uses the same password for their work computer and another account. It’s not uncommon for other large tech companies to have data breaches because of this. Leaked passwords for other accounts can open doors into your network.

Of course, there’s no way to verify that the passwords used for your work computers are unique.  However, by taking steps to educate employees on the importance of unique passphrases, you can help reduce the risk. 

4. Changing Passwords

Another important thing that you can get your employees to do to improve your cybersecurity is to regularly change their passwords. Fortunately, you can force this to happen. By programming passwords to expire every six months (or any other interval), you can make sure that even if a password is leaked, it will not stay valid for long.

Of course, you run the risk of employees cycling through passwords, like adding a 1 to their old password. Make sure that you force your passwords to have more than a single-digit difference from one another.

5. Never Write Them Down

Finally, the simplest but arguably the most important way you can protect your password is to never have it written down. Sticky notes with passwords written on them are one of the primary ways leaks develop. Anyone could snap a quick picture of the note as they walk by, and you’d never be able to tell that they took it until there was a breach. 

Education Is the Key How to Keep Passwords Safe 

The best way to ensure cybersecurity at work is to impress on employees the various ways how to keep passwords safe. Only if everyone is vigilant can you prevent data breaches. 

To further improve your business’ cybersecurity, consider our 24/7 support service! We can work either on-site or remotely to help address and prevent any IT or security issues you may experience. 

Matthew Tucker
Matthew Tucker
matthew@pegtec.com

As CEO of Pegasus Technologies, LLC, Matthew Tucker brings a rare combination of leadership attributes, technical expertise, and experience in the Information Technology industry. Matthew Tucker is responsible for the annual operating business plan as well as strategic direction. His strong commitment to the company’s growth is evident in his personal involvement with developing the current management team, as well as building the future leadership. Matthew Tucker works closely with the Executive staff to develop and monitor policies and procedures for ensuring the growth and stability of the company. Matthew Tucker’s passion for the company and staff is reflected in his continued efforts to ensure the company culture reflects its key values: personal growth, available management, and recognition of accomplishments.