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The threat of hacking is growing, that much is impossible to deny. Unfortunately, IT professionals are very often fighting a losing battle when it comes to encouraging their colleagues to adopt stricter security measures when carrying out their day-to-day duties. Passwords are just one area in which employees regularly fall short of what is required. 

For many people, once a password is set, they don’t like to change it. But how easily could your security details be guessed? And, when a hacker has worked out your details, how many systems can they access using that same security logon? 

Our top tips

Changing your password regularly helps to manage the risk of the password being stolen by an attacker. So, which passwords should be changed? 

Corporate passwords should be changed regularly, especially as they give access to important confidential data.Passwords that are used regularly on different websites, particularly on more sensitive sites, should be changed regularly. 

It almost goes without saying, but you should also change passwords on any accounts that you suspect may have been compromised. 

Other factors to remember 

  • Passwords should be at least eight characters long 
  • At least one capital letter, number and symbol must be used 
  • Don’t use obvious passwords, like your name, where you live, or your date of birth 
  • Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts. If someone gets hold of your password for one account, they can then easily gain access to all your accounts 

Additional tips for choosing a secure password

We recommend a few steps to choose a secure password: 

  • Choose around three random words 
  • Choose a date that is easy to remember 
  • Put the words together 
  • Split the date up with numbers at the start and the end 
  • Capitalise a letter in each word 
  • Add two special characters to the end 

If you want to use a group of numbers in your passwords, break them up, like with a telephone number. For instance, the average person can only memorise around seven digits at a time, so it’s best to break them up into smaller groups, making them easier to remember. 

In addition, it could be a good idea to use a password manager if you are struggling to remember more than one password. This special piece of software keeps all passwords safely encrypted and supplies them automatically to your web browser as and when you need them. You can also test the strength of your password by using How Secure is my Password? 

Interestingly, if your password was qwerty123, you could expect to be hacked within approximately 24 hours, however, by adding just one extra character “!” it would extend to five years. 

At Evaris, we are experts in providing high quality advice relating to all aspects of business IT security. We can offer consultancy and in-depth guidance on how to ensure your workforce is on board with protecting their data. Contact us today by calling 0330 124 1245, or email hello@evaris.com.

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