According to a survey from SecureAuth, more than 62% of respondents use the same password in multiple accounts. We always hear that passwords play the most important role in cybersecurity performance. However, still most people don’t follow good password hygiene.
It is important to ensure that you are practicing good password hygiene. This security measure can help you in stopping most cyber threats. The threat of data breaches is becoming more imminent with time. Organizations should ensure that they are teaching their employees about good password protection measures. In this article, we are going to share some tips which will help you in strengthening your Password hygiene.
What is Password Hygiene?
Password Hygiene will ensure that you are using unique and difficult passwords. If you are using a simple password, then attackers can guess your password. Thus, it is important to ensure that you are using strong and unique passwords only. Password Hygiene is a set of rules or guidelines. These guidelines will help you in protecting your passwords from attackers.
Good password hygiene will include some of the best practices like using strong and unique passwords. You should use separate passwords for your accounts. It is important to avoid the temptation of using a simple word as your password. Employees generally think that they can easily remember simple passwords. However, this is a big mistake. You should ensure that you are using strong and unique passwords.
How do attackers steal passwords?
According to a report from Google, more than 40% of Americans’ data have been compromised in some data breaches. More than 47% of these data breaches lead to a monetary loss. It is important to ensure that you are practicing good password hygiene. Data breaches can be very costly for your business. You will lose thousands of dollars in fines and penalties. Your customers might also move to other platforms. Thus, a data breach can hurt your business reputation. Attackers generally use these methods to steal passwords:
If you are using a simple password, then attackers can easily use it. For example, if you are using a default password like “12345” or “password”, then even a kid can guess your password.
Attackers can also use social engineering attacks for guessing your password. Most passwords are connected to the user. According to a report from Google, more than 60% of U.S. adults have used their birthday or name as their password. Attackers can easily find your birthday. If you are sharing your information on the internet, then attackers will find it. They can use your personal information for guessing your password.
Brute Force attack
This is another very common attack used by attackers. In this attack, a computer program will try every possible password combination. The attacker will run a dictionary attack. If your password is simple or small, then attackers will easily get access to your account. Thus, you should always create a difficult password. Attackers can crack simple passwords in minutes. However, it is impossible to crack difficult passwords.
You should ensure that your password contains a mix of lowercase and uppercase letters, number, and symbol. This will increase the complexity of your passwords. Attackers need to run their software for millions of years if they want to crack their passwords. Thus, you should always use a long and strong password.
Data breaches can be terrible for both companies and their users. If a website gets hacked, then your personal information can be leaked into the online world. Attackers might sell your personal details to other black hat hackers. They can even dump the entire database on an open forum. If you find out that your information is compromised, then you should immediately change your password. Most people use the same password on every website. Thus, even one data breach is enough to hack all your accounts. You should ensure that you are using different passwords on every online service.
Social Engineering attack
In this attack, the attacker will try to manipulate the victim by acting like a different organization or person.
For example, they might send you an email claiming that the email is from your bank. Attackers will ask the victim to enter their password for verifying their identity. If you enter your password, then your password will be sent to the attacker. The attacker will get access to your account. If you are using the same password everywhere, then they will get access to all your accounts.
Best practices for password hygiene
You should incorporate the best password security practices into your daily routine. This will help you in protecting your account from attackers. Businesses should include best password hygiene practices in their security strategy. They should ensure that their employees are following the best practices for password hygiene. Some of the best practices that you can follow are:
Never re-use passwords
Most people re-use their passwords on every platform. They will use the same password for accessing their bank account and Facebook account. If your social media account got compromised, then attackers will also get access to your bank account. They might also get access to your company network. Thus, it is important to ensure that you are using a unique password on every platform.
This is applicable even if you are using a strong password. Sometimes your data can get leaked in a data breach. You can’t protect your account from data breaches. Attackers will generally use complex attacks to dump an entire database. Thus, you should ensure that you are using different passwords on different platforms. In case of a data breach, you should quickly change your passwords.
Use Multi-Factor Authentication
Every business should incorporate multi-factor authentication. Almost every online service is offering MFA to its users. MFA will add additional steps before the user can log in to their account. In most cases, the user will first receive a one-time password in their mobile or email. They need to enter this OTP for accessing their account. Attackers can’t access your account even after getting access to your password. Businesses can even implement biometric passwords for increasing their security.
Most online services will offer you an option to override this security feature for trusted accounts. However, it is not a good option. You should never override multi-factor authentication. If you are overriding MFA, then attackers can use the RAT attack for accessing your account.
Most people use common passwords like “qwerty”, “abcdef”, “12345”, and “password”. Attackers can use brute force attacks for guessing your passwords. Thus, you need to be creative with your passwords. You should come up with complex and hard-to-guess passwords. This will ensure that attackers can’t guess your passwords.
You should consider using a passphrase instead of a password. This will provide maximum security to your account. However, make sure that you are using an easy-to-remember passphrase. This will ensure that you won’t forget your password. At the same time, you should ensure that your password is complex for other people. You can use your favorite quotes or you can use some movie dialogue.
Keep your work and personal emails separate
It is important to ensure that you are not using the same email account for personal and business purposes. You can create an unlimited number of email accounts. Thus, make sure that you have at least two email accounts. If you are using the same account for your personal and business email, then this can lead to a massive data loss.
You should create separate email accounts. One account will help you in managing your work communications and the other account will help you in managing your personal communications. This will ensure that your sensitive files are protected.
Follow good web security practices
Attackers are using advanced tools for stealing victim data. Thus, it is important to ensure that you are following the best web security measures. Attackers will generally use phishing attacks for tricking users. Thus, you should ensure that you can spot phishing emails. Businesses should teach their employees about basic security practices. This will ensure that your employees can protect themselves from simple attacks like phishing and keylogger attacks.
You should also install proper anti-malware and antivirus software on your computer. Make sure that you are protecting all your devices. Also, you should regularly update your applications. Businesses should use a firewall for protecting their network. You should also ensure that you are never using open Wi-Fi networks for doing your work. Attackers can easily intercept all the communication in open networks. If you want to use an open WI-Fi network, then make sure that you are at least using a VPN network for protecting your communication.
Protect your password list
Most people will keep all their passwords in one place. They might write them on a piece of paper or might store them on their mobile. You should ensure that you are protecting your password list from attackers. If someone gets access to your password list, then they can steal all your data. You should hide all the physical records which contain your password. If you are giving your password to some colleague for important work, then you should change it once the work is done.
Update passwords often
You should regularly change your passwords. If your password is compromised, then your sensitive data will be stolen. Sometimes your password can get leaked in a data breach. You might not know about the data breach. Thus, you should change your password regularly. This will ensure that attackers can’t use your leaked password for accessing your accounts.
You should inspect your accounts for some sign of compromise. If you think that your account is compromised, then you should immediately change all your passwords. You should change your complex passwords once every year.
Train your Staff
Businesses should train their staff. Most data breaches occur due to human errors. Make sure that password hygiene is an important part of your security awareness training. This will ensure that your employees know about the importance of strong passwords. Your IT team should keep up with the best password management practices. They should also train your employees. You have to ensure that your employees are using strong and complex passwords.
Use Password Manager
A password manager will help you in generating strong and unique passwords. You don’t need to worry about remembering all these strong passwords. All these passwords will be stored in one encrypted place. Thus, you need to remember the password of your password manager only.
There are various password managers available in the market that you can use. These password managers will also help you in managing your employee passwords. Thus, enterprises can look for the enterprise plan. These passwords managers are still not foolproof. However, they can act as an amazing tool for your business. You can practice better password hygiene by using these tools. Your employees don’t need to worry about remembering complex passwords. A password manager will help them in generating complex passwords. Thus, all your employee’s accounts will stay secure. However, if an attacker gets access to your password manager, then they can steal your data. You should ensure that your password manager is protected from attackers.
How Bleuwire can help your business?
Bleuwire can help you in protecting your business from attackers. They will help you in creating a strong password policy for your business. Bleuwire can also train your employees. This will ensure that your employees will protect your business from attackers. You will also get access to a large team of IT security professionals. They will help you in solving all the issues related to IT security. In case of a security breach, Bleuwire will help you in quickly recovering your system and data. This will help you in minimizing your downtime and damage. Bleuwire will also proactively monitor your network for loopholes. They will help you in fixing vulnerabilities present in your network. If you need more information regarding IT security services, then you can contact Bleuwire.