Passwords are important! They are in every case the weakest line of defense against any hacker. A strong password is one that protects your data from unauthorized access – it’s difficult to detect by both humans and computer programs.

A strong password has at least ten characters (the more characters, the stronger the password) and a combination of letters, numbers and symbols (@, #, $, %, etc.). Passwords are typically case-sensitive, so a strong password contains letters in both uppercase and lowercase.

We get support calls every day from people asking for help because they are locked out or frustrated over the need to set up a strong one. To help you with your password, use a name that means something to you but has the characters noted above substituted in. For example, a password like ILikeDogs is much better as IL1k3D0gs! You can check the strength of your password with free apps like https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/password-strength-checker/9wzdncrdqrh5?activetab=pivot%3aoverviewtab

Even better – Security experts recommend a “pass phrase” rather than a password. A phrase is long – 20 characters or so and consists of words, numbers, symbols and upper and lower case letters. For example, PicklePizza#6YellowFi$h.

Here are a few more password safety tips:

  • Never give out your password to anyone and don’t post it in plain sight. Actually, don’t save it in writing anywhere in your office. It might seem like obvious advice, but we still see post-it notes on monitors, and we have seen the results of passwords stolen from a note in a desk drawer.
  • Don’t use just one password for everything. If it is stolen, the hacker could pass it on or use it to break into your other accounts.
  • Consider using a password manager like Last Pass. https://www.lastpass.com/. Programs like this let you create a different password for each of your sites, but you only have to remember one password to access the program that stores the passwords for you.

We’ll talk more about password managers in our next tech tip.

If you need any help, or have any questions, please give us a call at 888-523-2568