Employees are the front-line of defense in protecting a company’s data. Weak passwords, or passwords that are easy to guess, can easily be exploited by hackers, potentially leading to a data breach. To protect your business and its vital assets, make sure all employees use strong passwords for their accounts and adhere to these best practices:
1. Use Long Passwords
Longer passwords are more difficult to crack and are your best defense against hackers. Aim for a password of at least 12 characters, using a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols.
2. Don’t Reuse Passwords
Using the same password for multiple accounts increases your vulnerability to attack. Create unique passwords for each account and store them in a secure password manager, such as LastPass, Dashlane or 1Password.
3. Change Your Passwords Regularly
Regularly changing your passwords can help protect against potential data breaches. Require employees to change their passwords every few months or after a certain number of login attempts.
4. Avoid Predictable Passwords
Common words and phrases, as well as personally identifiable information such as birthdates, names, addresses and phone numbers should never be used in passwords. These combinations are easy for hackers to guess or crack.
5. Don’t Share Passwords
Employees should never share passwords with anyone, even if they are in the same department or working on a project together. Each employee should have their own password and be responsible for maintaining it.
6. Use Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication requires two separate forms of identification, such as a password and a one-time passcode sent via text message. This added layer of security makes it more difficult for hackers to gain access to an account.
7. Encourage Security Awareness Training
Educating employees on the importance of strong passwords and data security best practices is essential in protecting your business from attack. Offer security awareness training to your employees on a regular basis.
By following these best practices, you can help ensure that your business is secure and protected from potential data breaches. Implementing strong password policies in the workplace will go a long way towards protecting your data and keeping it out of the wrong hands.