Those long, strong passwords are a pain in the you-know-where, right?
Imagine losing all your data – and maybe a bundle of cash – just because of a weak password. And yes, it’s possible: we recently had a client, who encountered a password attack. They had a simple, short and weak password, and their computer was accessible remotely. Well, hackers are now testing for weak passwords; they uninstall all the antivirus software when they get in; and then inject ransomware. Which is exactly what followed in this case. Weak passwords pose high security risks. Read on for our tips on how to and keep your data protected.
How to create good passwords and kick out weak passwords
The simplest way to avoid password problems is to use password management software. Our favorite password software is LastPass – it’s really easy to use, and best of all, it’s free! Here’s our step-by-step guide on using LastPass.
As well as managing passwords for you, LastPass also has a feature that enables you to create secure passwords. We highly recommend you use it, as it really is a great – and very easy – solution for password security.
The manual way to create good passwords
If you really do want to create good passwords yourself, Daryl Clune, the Technical Manager here at Optimus Systems, recommends that you implement the following:
- Minimum 8 characters (though longer is better)
- Requires both upper case and lower case letters
- Requires both alpha and numeric characters
- Requires at least one non-alphanumeric character, e.g. a punctuation symbol,space, etc.
- Never use the same password more than once (Again, LastPass is handy for this, as it can check for repeated passwords, and easily lets you create new ones where there are duplicates).
- Avoid using your name, pets’ names, places were you’ve lived, address numbers, birth dates, and consecutive numbers or letters – as these are too easily guessed. (Hackers have great tools for automatically generating likely password combinations very rapidly – you would be amazed).
Yes, it might be a hassle, but just think about how much more hassle it would be dealing with ransomware. Take the aforementioned steps to strengthen your passwords and most importantly, use different passwords for different websites.
We encourage you to adopt stronger and unique passwords -always! If you find it a hassle, use LastPass. And also check out our guide to avoiding ransomware – and what to do if you do get struck by it.