Passwords are a virtually universal security protocol. Websites, computers, and personal tech devices all use passwords and passcodes to prevent unauthorized users from accessing resources while letting legitimate users access the full array of tools available. As widespread as passwords are, they are not the perfect ticket to security that we sometimes imagine them to be. A password is only as strong as it is hard to guess, and most people’s passwords are very easy to guess. Improving password security will allow users to prevent unauthorized access to their most important personal accounts, including bank accounts, school records, financial statements, and personal identity data.

Weak Passwords Are Everywhere

Very few people have overhauled their entire spectrum of passwords to reflect changing security concerns. This means that just about everyone has at least one password that is very easy to guess. Easy to guess passwords include:

  • User’s first and/or last names

  • The first names of immediate family members

  • The names of pets or schools

  • Birth year

  • Marriage year

  • Nicknames

Combinations of these pieces of data are also very easy to guess. Anyone who has even basic knowledge about you and your family members would be able to guess passwords based on these simple facts.

Weak Passwords Impact Business

Periodic news stories about sophisticated computer hacks stealing passwords and payment information might seem straight out of a Hollywood movie; these stories often include specialty pieces of technology that are not available to everyone. This can make it seem like breaking through a company’s security requires lots of advanced tech and some serious computing power. Some security threats certainly feature a lot of fancy gadgetry but more often than not, companies face security threats from much more low-tech sources. Bad passwords give unauthorized users access to a company’s entire operations in just minutes and all kinds of information can be revealed. Customers’ personal information, employee data, financial records, proprietary data, intraoffice memos, and other private information can be accessed as a result of bad password practices.

Businesses suffer from more than a loss of face as a result of poor security. Financial sanctions and legal action could be forthcoming as a result of security breaches. Considerable damage control may need to be done in order to recover from the security lapse.

Three Steps to a Better Password

There are lots of simple ways to improve your password. Begin by actually changing your passwords; it has probably been a while. Passwords should be changed every few months to prevent anyone trying to learn things about you from discovering a lapse in security.

Passwords should also be at least 16 characters long. Instead of single words, try creating a phrase that utilizes at least 16 characters. Finally, use a combination of characters. Instead of simply using lowercase letters to spell out your password, use a combination of uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters. This adds considerable complexity to your password.

BBC Technology Solutions provides customers with a variety of technical options that make doing business much simpler. Great security is supported by great technology, so let us help you find the right solutions. Contact us today at 513-617-4822 to learn more.