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  • Writer's pictureHoward Wright

How to Create an Effective Password

A strong password is one of the most critical defenses against cyber-attacks. Unfortunately, many people still use weak passwords, such as "123456" or "password," which are easy for hackers to guess. In fact, according to recent studies, over 80% of data breaches are caused by weak passwords. Hackers use automated tools to guess passwords by attempting common words, phrases, and number combinations as well as "brute force" attacks, which involves trying every possible combination of characters until the password is cracked.

To create an effective password strategy, businesses should encourage employees to use complex passwords that are difficult for hackers to guess. Passwords should be at least 12 characters long and include a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Employees should also avoid using personal information, such as their name or date of birth, as part of their password. Additionally, businesses should require employees to change their passwords every 90 days to ensure maximum security.

password screen on computer monitor

Another useful tip for creating a strong password is to use a password manager. Password managers are applications that store all of your passwords in one place and automatically generate complex passwords for you. This eliminates the need to remember multiple passwords, which can be a challenge for many people. Additionally, password managers encrypt your passwords, making them difficult for hackers to steal.

Lastly, another strategy for creating strong passwords is to take the first two letters of a memorable sentence or phrase and combine them with numbers and symbols. For example, the sentence "I love hiking in the mountains with my dog" can become the password "ILh1tmwmd!". This technique creates a complex password that is also easy to remember. It's important to avoid using obvious substitutions, such as replacing an "o" with a zero or an "i" with a one, as hackers are familiar with these tactics. Using a unique and random combination of letters, numbers, and symbols is the best way to ensure password security.

Wright Technology Group offers employee training to small- to medium-sized businesses looking to mitigate their cybersecurity risk. Proper and routine employee cybersecurity training is the first step in protecting your businesses' most valuable data.

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