In today's digital world, where security breaches are on the rise, managing your online passwords is a critical aspect of protecting your personal and professional information.
In this article, we will be discussing effective strategies and best practices for managing your online passwords, helping you to protect important data from being accessed by hackers.
Why Online Security is Important
Maintaining high levels of security online is essential in helping to protect your personal and sensitive information from unauthorised access.
Hackers and cybercriminals use various methods to crack weak passwords, such as dictionary attacks, brute force attacks, and social engineering to gain access to your sensitive information, including bank account details, emails, photos and messages.
How to Level Up Your Online Security
Use Strong and Unique Passwords
A secure online presence starts with strong and unique passwords. According to Verizon, 81% of hacking-related breaches are caused by stolen or weak passwords.
Avoid using easily guessable passwords with sequential numbers like "123456" or obvious words like "password." Instead, create complex passwords, at least 12 characters long, that include a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters.
Additionally, it's crucial to use different passwords for each online account. LastPass Psychology of Passwords Report reveals 91% of people know password reuse is insecure, yet two-thirds do it anyway. This practice is dangerous because it makes it much easier for hackers to gain access to multiple accounts that share the same password.
Implement a Password Manager
We understand that with so many different online accounts, it can be tricky to remember unique passwords for each one. This is where a password manager comes in. A password manager securely stores all your passwords in an encrypted database, requiring you to remember only one master password. It can generate strong passwords for you and autofill them when you visit websites or log into applications, making the process seamless and secure.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your online accounts. It typically involves a combination of something you know (your password) and something you have (e.g., a verification code sent to your smartphone).
By enabling 2FA, even if someone manages to obtain your password, they would still need the second factor to access your account.
Many online platforms, including email providers, social media networks, and banking institutions, offer 2FA as an option and it's highly recommended to activate this feature wherever possible.
Regularly Update and Change Passwords
Passwords should be treated as perishable items. Just as you update your software and applications, it's essential to regularly update and change your passwords. Set a reminder to update your passwords every three to six months or whenever a security breach occurs.
Additionally, if you suspect any unauthorised access or compromise, change the password immediately. By being proactive in password management, you significantly reduce the risk of unauthorised access to your accounts.
Educate and Train Employees
If you're managing a company that deals with sensitive information, it's crucial to educate and train your employees about password best practices.
Implementing a comprehensive security policy and conducting regular training sessions can help create a security-conscious workforce. Educate your employees about the importance of strong passwords, the risks associated with password reuse, and the significance of 2FA.
Encourage them to use a password manager and provide guidelines on creating secure passwords.
Stay Informed About Security Threats
Stay updated on the latest security threats, data breaches, and password-related vulnerabilities. Subscribe to reliable security blogs, follow tech news outlets, and stay informed about emerging trends in password security.
By staying ahead of potential threats, you can proactively address vulnerabilities and take necessary precautions to safeguard your online presence.
Keep Software Updated
Did you know that the inconspicuous printer sitting in the corner of your office could be a data security issue?
Old and outdated software is much more vulnerable to cybercriminals as updates help to keep you safe from bugs or holes in the software which can be exploited. Public knowledge of these holes puts your personal and business data at risk if you don’t regularly update to newer versions of software on your tech.
At DMS, we ensure all of your tech is kept up to date as part of our regular service and maintenance check carried out by our experienced product trained data security technicians. This can be done on your premises or prior to delivery.
Once DMS Secure safeguards are in place, you can be sure your technology and data will enjoy uncompromising cybersecurity protection.
Effectively managing your online passwords is paramount in today's digital landscape. By employing strong and unique passwords, utilising a password manager, enabling two-factor authentication, regularly updating passwords, educating employees, and regularly updating your technology, you can enhance the security of your online accounts and mitigate the risk of unauthorised access.
For more information and advice, head over to our handy blog. To find out more about how DMS can help your business stay cyber secure, get in touch with our team today.