The importance of complex passwords

Security & Data Backup

Complex passwords refer to the use of a password that is essentially gibberish. A complex password would NOT use a recognizable word, name or phrase and should include a mix of numbers, upper and lower case letters and where allowed, special characters such as dashes or exclamation marks.

Why does my password have to be complex?

In a nutshell, a complex password gives you much greater protection against someone accessing your accounts and causing what could be irreputable damage to your company.

Many people fear that they won’t be able to remember the passwords. If this is a concern, we would recommend the use of a password manager and can offer recommendations on this. It is very important however that the password manager only be linked to essential devices and that it has a complex password to access it, where possible we recommend 2 factor authentication.

It is important that you do not use memorable information such as birth dates, or names, places or dictionary words within your passwords. We hear many people say, ‘nobody could guess it’, unfortunately it’s a computer rather than a person doing the guessing. A computer can check all dictionary words, names and phrases as fast as you can make a cup of tea.

Why you should use individual, complex passwords everywhere

It’s become a common habit for people to reuse passwords. The problem with this is that when one account is hacked, they all are.

As an example, let’s say that my password is a complex one, but because my memory is not great, I reuse this password on my Amazon account, my eBay account and pretty much every time I buy something online. In the last few months, I have used this same password to sign up for various shopping websites, online subscriptions, Instagram and more. One of those websites, somewhere along the way was lax with their security, maybe they were hacked, maybe they hadn’t updated their systems and were penetrable, maybe they shared username and passwords with other companies. Any number of scenarios could have ended in someone gaining knowledge of my password and my email address – the one I use for most things, so now they can access not only my accounts elsewhere but also my email, giving them the ability to cause a tremendous amount of harm.

 

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