Is Your Password Strong Enough?
As technology evolves passwords are becoming less secure. Hackers are becoming smarter and faster. The promise and power of quantum computing will tilt the odds in the hacker’s favor even more. Importantly, there are several things that you can do today to strengthen your passwords to better protect your data and payment systems. Here are two areas you can evaluate now:
- Length. Evaluate your password(s) length. The longer the password the better—15-20 characters are recommended where possible, certainly longer than eight characters.
- Complexity. Make sure your password is complex, which means including multiple uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
Simple passwords are easy to remember. Unfortunately, simple passwords are easily cracked. In fact, you can easily search and find the frequency lists of passwords from those most commonly used. These are actual passwords used by real humans.
Here are some things to consider when creating a long and strong (complex) password:
- If you use words from the dictionary, add multiple special characters,
- Avoid simple patterns (e.g.,123123). The can also more easily be captured by some simple shoulder surfing, and
- Be random. Do not use sequences (e.g.,123456789). A sequence may be long, but it is easy for a hacker to compromise it.
- Change your password. Change your password on a regular interval (three months perhaps) and any time there is any question if one of your passwords has been compromised.
- Add another factor when possible. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) may be a number generated from a fob or a prompt/response program that is unique and requires the user to have a unique factor (certain fob, fingerprint, retina) in their possession.
P@ssw0rd may be complex but it is not secure.
Your password is important and personal. Treat is right. Just as you would any other piece of private information. Do not share your password with your friends and family and don’t write it down! If you do, or have in the past, change your password today. A secure password generator can help you create a strong password if you know your password is weak or you suspect your password has been compromised.
Keep in mind that a hacker is willing to use any method available (phishing attacks, social engineering, cameras, dumpster diving, etc) to crack a password. Staying up-to-date with treasury security recommendations and cyber fraud trends is necessary to protect yourself and your corporation. Strategic Treasurer offers multiple corporate training courses related to treasury and cybersecurity. For more information click here.
Craig Jeffery formed Strategic Treasurer in 2004 to provide corporate, educational, and government entities direct access to comprehensive and current assistance with their treasury and financial process needs. His 25+ years of financial and treasury experience as a practitioner, banker and as a consultant have uniquely qualified him to help organizations craft realistic goals and achieve significant benefits quickly. He is responsible for overall relationship management and ensuring total client satisfaction on all projects.