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Protecting your online business: Why a complex password is paramount and how to ensure you have one


These days, it seems our whole lives are housed online. It’s part of the reason handbag insurance is so popular: the mere thought of losing your smartphone is enough to send virtual shivers down your spine.

With massive corporate cyber hacks having taken place in recent years to companies such as Equifax, Home Depot, eBay, Target Stores and many others, it’s hard to believe people still play password roulette and are strangely shocked to find their security compromised.

According to the Entrepreneur website, three of four online-active people have not changed their passwords in the last five years, and more than one in four has consequently been hacked. Here’s how to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to you.

Make good password hygiene a habit

Most of us don’t see the need to strengthen or change passwords. There’s the issue of remembering them, writing them down and storing them, perhaps, on an app that may require yet another unique password. In fact, more than a fifth of people admit to having passwords they haven’t changed for 10 years or more.

To compound users’ cyber vulnerability, many employees use the same umbrella password to access their work networks as they do at home. This means that if one of a user’s online services is hacked, work systems could be at risk too. You should also never use a partner, pet, favorite color, middle name or birthday as a password – hackers study your social media profiles and could easily guess these.

What’s the big deal then, if your employer has good cybersecurity software in place? These cyber solutions work by flagging unusual and, therefore, suspicious behavior. There’s nothing unusual about a hacker guessing your password in three or four attempts – the same number of attempts you could need on a groggy morning. Consequently, no cyber alert would go off.

Cyber hacking technology is so advanced that while choosing a strange word with unusual capitalization or ‘@’ for ‘a’, combined with another symbol as an appendage, is a good start to increasing your password strength, it is by no means hack-proof.

One recommended method that has passed hacking tests as being unhackable is the ‘”Schneier scheme”. Choose a sentence, such as  “This little piggy went to market” and turn it into a password that looks like “tlpWENT2m”.

Alternatively, acquire a password manager software that will not only generate solid password strings but also will store them safely. Dashlane is one of the leading brands but it’s always worth checking out a bit deeper. Sites like Best Online Reviews, can help with this lookup and provide you with a roundup of the best password software and performance analyses, including encryption type and pricing.

Finally, consider upgrading to two-factor authentication (2FA) on all your accounts. Once you’ve entered your password, you’ll be prompted to enter your pin on another device, or a random code will be sent to your smartphone.

A change of password habit is not easy; it all depends on what the person considers the lesser evil.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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