In the modern digital world, every season of the year requires online spring cleaning; a time to dust off old, outdated passwords and prepare for new ones.
Every day, your employees type in their login credentials to the company intranet site, or out on the Internet, to conduct their business. The moment they log in, they have opened the online gateway up to cyber criminals and hackers that are eager to grab user IDs, passwords and other pertinent information. The few keystrokes they type in are the only thing that works as a safeguard against identity thieves eager to do you and your company harm.
Creating New Passwords
As part of the password cleaning process, you will need to assist your employees in creating their own complex password. The first step will require the elimination of all obvious and simple passwords which are used way too frequently. The password cannot contain any apparent phrases, numbers, names, birthdays, addresses, employee numbers, or Social Security numbers concerning the employee. This type of information is too easy for anyone to guess.
Additionally, other things to avoid are their children’s names, the name of pets, common every day phrases, names of sports teams or anything involving words found in our daily, common vocabulary. To minimize any intrusion from hackers within the organization, the password should never be formulated around any “tell” of items on the employee’s desk, pictures on the wall, or slogans for the company.
Many times, employees believe that it is more important that the password be easily remembered. This approach minimizes the necessity to recall complex passwords, while maximizing the chances of being hacked.
Secure, Unique Passwords
To ensure that your employees are keeping your business safe, teach them to develop a variety of secure, unique passwords. One effective password should be used for one unique network, device or website.
However, the trick is to make the new password memorable to the user. A challenging password such as “1K8O)e&&vF” might be an excellent password, but it is nearly impossible to recall. Instead, the employee might manipulate a simple phrase like “ILoveToExercise” to “eyELuv2XRC!ze”. The understanding of the phrase might only have meaning to the employee that developed it, making it much more difficult to breach by others.
Dispose of the Passwords
If you're really getting sick of manually dealing with passwords around the office, maybe it's time to look at investing in a good password management system. A well built and provisioned system will allow you to encourage or enforce strong passwords and prevent forgotten passwords. Check out our guide on the 10 Requirements of a Great Password Manager.