At this point in the Age of Internet, everyone knows that having secure passwords is a good thing. And yet, so few of us adequately protect our personal information. It can be difficult to know exactly where to begin when it comes to security in the digital age; there are so many different facets and scary information coming in from all sides, it is easy to blow past and ignore all of it. However, password security is critical, and for your sake, and your company’s, continue reading to remind yourself of the significance of password security. Let us know if you have any concerns or questions, we are here to help.
Risks of an Unsecure Password
The importance of having a good password cannot be understated.
Everyone holds many different accounts, and all of those accounts contain your personal information. Just imagine what would happen if someone gained access to your email – how much of your life would be disrupted? If a hacker got access to your bank account – how long would it take to gain back control? The potential consequences of someone gaining access to one of your accounts is enormous, so why not do the bare minimum to try and protect yourself? Having to deal with a compromised account is fully preventable.
It is not just major accounts that need protection – anything you sign up for should have a strong password. No matter what level of account you have created, there is still the potential of personal information that can be transmitted. If you have been targeted, and they learn one of your passwords, they can potentially easily guess the passwords to your other accounts. This means it is vital that your passwords are always very different from each other. But how can you do that?
How to Store Passwords
It would be convenient to have the same password for all your accounts, because then you could easily remember them. However, this does not ensure your security in any way. So what system can you use to store the myriad of passwords required to have even a small digital presence?
Write them down on paper.
The downside to this is having to type them out if they are complicated, and then having to keep that paper on you whenever you want to gain access to the account. Several years ago, one of our employees used to have a sticky note attached to her monitor with several passwords written out, and some criticized her for it – but she was not trying to secure her information from those in the office. If someone really wanted to take control of her accounts they would just have to wait until she was away from her desk. Rather, the passwords were there to protect the accounts from the dangers lurking inside the world wide web, not any external ones.
Write them in a Word Document/Google Doc
The advantage of this method is that you can easily copy/paste the passwords, and depending on where it is stored, you can have access to it whichever computer you are on. However, these are not necessarily secure, as any basic text program like this can be hacked, leaving all of your passwords vulnerable. You can imagine how disastrous it would be if something were to happen with that document. And if you’re going through the effort of having them stored electronically anyways, why not go the extra step and use a program that is meant specifically for passwords?
Use a password wallet.
These are the most secure way of storing passwords, yet few people are utilizing them. The advantage of these is that you don’t have to remember any passwords, as they are stored in your password wallet. Depending on the settings, it will autofill the login forms, and autogenerate complex passwords when signing up to new accounts. This also means that you can have a different, complex password for each of your online accounts. Radar Hill uses KeePass and LastPass, which are completely free for the basics. It should be noted that Radar Hill is not affiliated with them in any way – we just really recommend that our clients have some system put in place to protect their accounts, and their clients information.
What Makes a Good Password?
There are two main important components of a password, the length, and the complexity. It is not good enough to have something like Pineapple1999. It is better to have P!n3@ppl31999, however that is still not optimum. A password such as 4rI!k9K8%ndL30Prwf!e?!yUkK is ideal, because of its random assortment of letters, numbers, symbols, and length. Of course you cannot be expected to remember something like this, which is why using the aforementioned password wallet is an invaluable tool for your Internet security.
If you’re not sold on using a password wallet, try using 3 random words, but changing them up with numbers. For example, Horse Basil Cushion could be turned into a password like H0rseBas!lCush!0n! It is complex enough to not be immediately guessed, but still simple enough to remember. However, considering all the accounts that you do have to remember, make life easier for yourself and get a password wallet.
It’s an unfortunate reality that as wonderful as the Internet and digital age is, there is plenty of risk when using it. Be vigilant and protect yourself and your information as much as you can. It is too easy to rely on the same passwords you have always used. Updating all of your passwords doesn’t have to be overwhelming, just begin by ensuring your most important accounts such as banking, email, and your client databases have an adequately secure password. Keep your security in mind when creating your next account online, and choose a strong password that your password wallet would be proud of.