How would you react if you found out one of your employees allowed a competitor to gain access to your commercially sensitive documents or customer records?
What about if this staff member allowed hackers to post pages with illegal content on your company website or allowed scammers to send spam from your business email accounts?
It’s safe to say that employee would – at the very least – have some serious questions to answer.
Yet late last week, security software developer Splashdata listed the top 25 passwords used by computer users. Amazingly, the report found the top five passwords are still “password”, “123456”, “12345678”, “abc123” and “qwerty”.
There really is no excuse for choosing one of the passwords on the list. You wouldn’t let an employee give a hacker access to your computer systems, but if they choose a weak password, that’s exactly what you’re allowing them to do. It’s the digital equivalent of leaving your keys in the door when you leave the office each night.
After social media site LinkedIn was hacked back in June, director Vicente Silveira shared these top tips for choosing a secure password:
- Don’t use the same password on all the sites you visit.
- Don’t use a word from the dictionary.
- Select strong passwords that can’t easily be guessed with 10 or more characters.
- Think of a meaningful phrase, song or quote and turn it into a complex password using the first letter of each word.
- Randomly add capital letters, punctuation or symbols.
- Substitute numbers for letters that look similar (for example, substitute “0″ for “o” or “3″ for “E”.
- Never give your password to others or write it down.
If you have a password on the top 25 passwords list, change it immediately. Even if your passwords aren’t on the list, follow Silveira’s tips to make sure your passwords are secure. Then make sure your employees all do the same.
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