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Data Security Advice: Why You Need a Strong Password Policy

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

Introduction

When you’re managing data security at your business or organization, it’s important to be proactive and take the necessary steps to ensure that sensitive information remains secure. One of the most fundamental steps in maintaining data security is creating a strong password policy. However, there are many different approaches to implementing a password policy—and they all have their pros and cons. In this post we’ll explore why it’s so important for your company to implement a strong password policy, how you can create one yourself, and why having a well-designed system in place is critical if something goes awry (such as an attack on your website).

Why you need a strong password policy.

There are many compelling reasons for a business to adopt a strong password policy. It helps protect you and your customers, as well as your employees and reputation.

First off, why do we need one? To put it simply: cyberattacks are on the rise. In fact, according to the findings of the 2018 Cost of Cyber Crime Study report by Ponemon Institute, which surveyed 718 organizations in 11 countries across industries worldwide — including healthcare (37%), technology (32%) and financial services (23%) — cybercrime costs are expected to increase by an average of 8% per year over the next five years in these sectors alone.* This has led companies around the world to adopt more stringent policies when it comes to protecting their systems against attacks—and that means creating more secure passwords.

Second, why should I care about this? A strong password policy can help protect both your customers’ personal information and their trust in your brand name or institution. If someone uses one of these weak passwords as their login information for any site connected with yours (like Facebook or Google), then they could potentially gain access into other accounts where you share data with those companies – whether directly or indirectly through third-party applications such as Dropbox or Salesforce CRM cloud apps – thereby exposing sensitive data stored within each account’s backend database like social security numbers or bank account details…

Creating a strong password policy is one of the most fundamental steps in maintaining data security.

Creating a strong password policy is one of the most fundamental steps in maintaining data security.

A strong password policy helps protect your information and your business by:

  • Ensuring that passwords are difficult to hack or guess
  • Helping to ensure that only authorized users can access confidential or sensitive data
  • Preventing the sharing of passwords between employees

Do not share login information with others.

  • Do not share login information with anyone.
  • Do not use the same password for multiple accounts, even if they are similar in nature. For example, do not use the same password for your email and social media accounts.
  • Do not reuse passwords from previous jobs or accounts on different websites (especially if those sites were breached). If that’s the case, change your password immediately!

Change your passwords regularly.

To ensure that your business’s data is as secure as possible, it’s important to change your passwords regularly. Ideally, this means changing them every 3-6 months, though it depends on how quickly you think an attacker could gain access to your accounts. You should also use a password manager like LastPass or 1Password to store all of your passwords and generate new ones for you when necessary. If you ever forget or lose access to one of these accounts’ passwords, don’t hesitate—change it immediately so that no one else can get in either!

If part of the reason behind strong password policies is protecting against phishing attacks (which try to trick users into giving up their login information), then another guideline is even more important: never use the same password for multiple online accounts at once! This is because if someone manages to get hold of one account’s login credentials and gains unauthorized access through that channel, they can use those same credentials elsewhere online until they’re caught red-handed.

Password managers are useful tools.

Password managers are a simple way to create strong passwords and keep them organized. They’re available as free or low-cost apps for your computer, phone and/or tablet that help you enter login credentials for websites and apps.

There are dozens of password manager programs available from big names like 1Password and LastPass to open-source options like KeePassXC or Dashlane (formerly known as DashLane). You can use one service across all devices, or choose separate ones depending on your needs:

  • If you want an app that works with multiple browsers, look into KeePassXC or Bitwarden (formerly known as Passpack).
  • If you want an app with browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Safari—and also Android devices—Keeper is a good option; it’s also available in Spanish.

Use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters as much as possible.

Your password should be a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. The more complex your password is, the better it will be for security purposes. Additionally, you should change your passwords frequently to avoid falling into a pattern that can be easily guessed. If you use the same username and password on multiple sites then consider using a password manager to generate strong passwords for all of your accounts with just one click!

A strong password policy protects your information and your business in the event of a data breach or attack on your system

A strong password policy protects your information and your business in the event of a data breach or attack on your system.

That’s because a password policy puts into place rules that help you protect sensitive data, including:

  • Avoiding using common words and phrases as passwords
  • Limiting the length of passwords (for example, 8 characters or less is better)
  • Preventing employees from writing down their passwords on sticky notes or Post-It notes next to their computers
  • Requiring users to change their passwords every 90 days (or at least every 6 months)

Conclusion

We hope this post has given you some basic tips for creating a strong password policy and keeping your information secure. Remember that even if you’re already following these guidelines, it’s still important to regularly change your passwords. The best thing you can do is keep trying new combinations until one works!

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