Introduction

The importance of robust, unique passwords cannot be overstated in the digital age. Password-protected services are a part of our daily lives, whether it’s our online banking accounts, social media profiles, or business data. However, maintaining strong passwords and remembering them can be a task. This blog post will provide practical tips and tricks on creating and remembering strong passwords, ensuring the security of your small business without causing you any headaches.

The Importance of Strong Passwords

The first step towards creating strong passwords is understanding the importance. Passwords are the first defence in securing your digital accounts, and weak passwords can make your business vulnerable to cyberattacks. Brute force attacks, where attackers try numerous combinations to guess your password, are common, and simple, predictable passwords can be cracked in no time. A strong password can safeguard your business’s sensitive data and maintain your online reputation, making it necessary in today’s digital landscape.

It is a good idea to write down your password requirements so that staff (and contractors) know what to expect from their passwords. Yep, you need to add it to your Information Security Policy or create a password policy. It is an essential requirement if you are looking at getting Cyber Essential accreditation.

Creating Robust and Unique Passwords

Creating a robust and unique password isn’t as tricky as it sounds. Avoid using personal information such as birthdays, names, or common phrases. Instead, opt for a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. The longer the password, the better. Ideally, your password should be at least 12 characters long. Consider using a passphrase – a sentence or a phrase with words that mean something to you, making it easier to remember. For example, ‘MyDogsNameIsBuddy’ is a better password than ‘Buddy123’. But when you change characters for special symbols and numbers in ‘MyDogsNameIsBuddy’, you can go to ‘MyD0g$N&me1sBuddy.’

I used ‘MyDogsNameIsBuddy’ as an example ONLY. I will say it again: it is not wise to use names or key dates of family or pets, as this information could be easy to find. I may think of a phrase to describe my pet or a lyric from a relative’s favourite song. Remember that you need to ensure you don’t leave any breadcrumbs to what your random phase could be. Yep, all those social media posts where you tell people your favourite animal, song, food, etc., could all be used to help identify your possible password.

Remembering Your Passwords

Remembering numerous complex passwords can be challenging. However, there are safe ways to manage this. One method is to use a password manager – a secure digital vault that can generate and store all your passwords. These tools can auto-fill your passwords whenever needed; you only need to remember a single master password. If you’re uncomfortable using a password manager, consider using a pattern or algorithm you know. For example, you could use different languages to say the same phrase or replace certain letters with numbers or symbols.

Conclusion

In conclusion, creating and remembering strong passwords doesn’t have to be daunting. You can effectively secure your business’s digital accounts by understanding the importance of robust passwords, using a mix of characters to create unique passwords, and employing strategies to remember them. Remember, your password is your first line of defence against cyber threats, so make it count!