Password Strength, Pt. 2: Keeping Your Passwords Safe

Creating strong passwords is a hot topic of discussion these days, and is essential to any business that uses computers and networks for data storage.  Password strength is only half the battle, however.  Keeping your passwords secret and safe is vital to your data security, and becomes more difficult as your staff and reliance on computers grows.  Below are some tips on how you can be smart and vigilant in this crucial area.

Password Safety Tips

safe passwordsKeep your passwords secret – treat your passwords with as much care as the information that they protect. Keep your passwords entirely to yourself, and require the same of your staff and coworkers.

Change your passwords regularly – this is the most important passwords security measure, besides keeping them secret.  A monthly password change is acceptable for most systems, and weekly is recommended for passwords that protect highly sensitive data.

Don’t share passwords among coworkers – this is an easy pitfall, especially when deadlines are tight and coworkers say “I’ll only be logged in to your account for a second.”   You are accountable for activity on your accounts, and giving others access creates opportunity for trouble that you can easily avoid by not sharing passwords.

Be careful on shared computers – computers in cafes, airports, libraries and other public areas may contain malicious software that can capture your passwords, so keep this in mind when using them.  This is especially important for those whose personal passwords (Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, etc) are the same as their business passwords.

Have a password plan when working with contractors and clients – contractors, clients, and third parties comprise a large segment of business for most companies today, and access to your company’s systems may be a regular part of your interactions.  Be sure that the password(s) you assign to them are not the same as passwords for other accounts.

Monitor all password-protected information – know your data, and keep an eye on it.  If you notice any suspicious activity, change all of your passwords immediately and notify the appropriate members of your staff.

The strongest password in the world is useless if it’s not kept secret, and people are the key to password safety.  Computers store the data, but we humans keep the secrets.

To develop a deeper level of Data Security with a professional technician, click here to contact your local Computer Troubleshooter.

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