Passwords: A Protocol We Love To Hate

Passwords

As users, we hate passwords so much that we invented apps to take care of them for us. Now we need to learn how to use and trust our password manager programs. It’s always something with computers, right?

Here’s what you need to know. Hackers hack to find personal information they can sell. Some data, like PIN numbers, banking information, credit card numbers, can be used to steal identity and/or get immediate access to money. But other data like email addresses and passwords can be used to access other personal accounts—again, to get to the victim’s money.

You’d Be Surprised How Easy So Many Passwords Are To Hack

Below are the most common bad choices for passwords. Um—don’t use these.

  • 123456 and “password”. Yep. Still being used.
  • Using a symbol or number for a letter like “p@ssw0rd”.
  • Putting a number or punctuation at the end is NOT tricky, like Bobby15 or Andrea!!
  • Single words, like labradors, or basketball. Phrases are much stronger
  • Avoid number patterns like 7777777 or 987654 or 123abc.

Don’t use pets’ names, kids’ names, school names—all easily found and tried.

Hackers Know People Try To Use Same Passwords For Everything

You should use a different password for every single account. I know that’s painful to hear, but it’s a hard truth. Think of this: what if your email password is the same as your bank password and, say, your Amazon account password? If your Facebook account gets hacked, what are the chances the hacker will attack other accounts you  have with that same password?

The average person has about 100 accounts. How does anyone remember that many passwords? Now, take that number and multiply it times the number of employees who have access to your business data. I’m sure you see my point.

As an IT expert, I have learned that company security starts with individual security. I will always advise a business owner to protect his company information by using a password manager app for anyone accessing his servers, and by also using 2FA, 2-factor authentication, for employees to log in. No different than taking the time to look to be sure your garage doors are down at home and your doors are locked. Same principle.

It’s a dangerous cyber world, but it’s the stage that every successful business performs on these days. Cybersecurity includes learnable skills for lay persons, however you still need IT experts to configure, connect, repair, upgrade, and monitor your business computer network. Aptica does all of that very well for small-to-medium sized businesses.

Jason Newburg, 260.243.5100, ext 2101, is the founder and owner of Aptica LLC. This IT management and support company has been serving small to medium-sized businesses for 16 years in the region that includes Angola, South Bend, and Fort Wayne, IN, Battle Creek, MI, and Toledo OH.

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