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Cybersecurity Best Practice Series: Passwords

Here at Bedrock Technology, we wanted to create a short blog series focused on the best ways to protect your digital life. Considering there seems to be a major data breach affecting millions of people almost every year, it’s time we double down on the importance of keeping your personal information safe from hackers. Our first topic will be focused on password best practices.

1. Length and complexity

The longer the password, the better. Make it complex (and obscure if you must!). Try to avoid using common and popular words, and go with something unique. Using a phrase that you can easily remember is a good starting point. For example, let’s use the sentence:

Bedrock Technology is your number one IT managed services provider!

Using only the first letter of each word (and transforming the word “one” to numeric “1”), you can create a password like this:

Bedrock Technology is your number one IT managed services provider! = BTiyn1Imsp!

2. When should I change my password?

The jury is still out on this one. Some IT security professionals recommend every 90 days, but if you’re creating complex and lengthy passwords, and not reusing the same password across sites, you most likely don’t have to change them so often. Having a password manager relieves the distress of having to remember so many complex passwords, which we will touch upon later in this post.

3. Stop reusing passwords!

As we mentioned above, you should not be using the same password across multiple accounts. Many of us are guilty of reusing the same password for “unimportant” sites, but it only takes one security breach on that one “unimportant” account for a hacker to gain access to your password and try it on other accounts. Again, if remembering so many different passwords is becoming frustrating, we urge you to sign up for a password manager, which we will explain in more detail next.

4. Consider using a password manager

There are many free password managers out there. The most popular one is LastPass. As their catch phrase states, “LastPass remembers all your passwords, so you don't have to.” LastPass saves the password for each website in a “vault,” which can be accessed by using one master password. Another helpful feature LastPass provides is generating strong passwords so you don’t have to.

5. Add layers

If you’re not using two-factor authentication where it’s provided, it’s time to change that now. When you enable this feature, anytime someone tries to sign in to your account, a code will be texted to your phone or sent to your e-mail. Many banking sites and Gmail, Yahoo, PayPal, and Amazon are a few examples where this feature is available, as well as social media.

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