Lower Your Password Vulnerability with Four Powerful Tactics
Possibly the easiest and most important measure you can take is to use strong passwords. The best ones have at least 12 characters, cannot be found in a dictionary, and include numbers, lower-case, and capital letters. Alphanumeric passwords can take weeks to crack (compared to the mere seconds it takes to nail a password that can be found in the dictionary), and by mixing upper and lower case letters this decoding time can expand to a year or two. In other words, if your password is in the dictionary, don't use it!
You might not be as secure as you think. Some password-cracking tools work nearly a thousand times as quickly as they could ten years ago. Bill Gates recently admitted that password systems “simply won’t cut it” in the future. Luckily, there are some simple ways to protect yourself.
Obviously, a second form of authentication offers you one of the best ways to cover this vulnerability. Many banks offer additional security beyond the password. Use it whenever it’s available.
Another critical means of defense is to have different passwords for each system. This way, if someone hacks into your company email, for example, they won’t be able to access your online banking.
In addition to these measures, many browsers such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari have built-in browser password managers. By storing your digital keys in a password vault, you add another layer of protection.
About Brent Whitfield
Brent Whitfield is CEO of DCG Technical Solutions, Inc., which provides IT Support in the Los Angeles area since 1993. DCG exists to help our clients choose, implement, and manage IT and cloud solutions that are cost effective and reliable. DCG's pro-active approach to IT is ideally suited for companies who depend on reliable IT infrastructure, but don't want to spend a lot of money to keep it that way. DCG was recognized among the Top 10 Fastest Growing MSPs in North America by MSP Mentor. Brent has been featured in Fast Company, CNBC, Network Computing, Reuters, and Yahoo Business.