If you’ve been following Grace Information Management’s News section in recent weeks, you will know that plans are underway to make passwords a thing of the past.
However, until technology catches up with cybercriminals, passwords remain the best way to protect your personal and business privacy and data.
Think of a password like the key to your front door. It prevents strangers walking into your house and stealing your possessions. Yet a simple password of 123456 or your birthdate is like leaving the key under the mat for anyone to get a hold of. That’s why you should always look to create strong passwords and change them regularly.
What is a strong password?
A strong password consists of:
- a minimum eight characters
- a mix of upper and lower case letters
- at least one numeral, and
- at least one symbol.
With the computing power and resources available today, it is estimated that a password with these features would take several years to crack. Passwords with fewer characters that have all letters or all numbers can be cracked within a few minutes.
Avoid passwords that would be readily identifiable or easy for anyone to guess, such as your name or business name and never reuse old passwords.
Keep your password safe
Stay Smart Online is the Australian Government’s cyber security website designed to help Australians understand online risks.
In addition to a strong password, the website features the following tips for protecting your password:
- Never share your password with anyone – a password is meant to be a secret known only to you.
- Memorise your password if you can. To make a password easy to remember, think of a phrase and then change some of the characters to make it a strong password. If you need to write it down in order to remember it, hide it somewhere safe.
- Use different passwords for different accounts – if one is compromised it may give an attacker access to your other online accounts.
- Don’t save passwords for important accounts in your web browser – anyone using your computer could access these accounts.
- Be careful using your password on a public internet terminal (such as an airport or internet cafe).
- Never send your password via email or store your passwords in plain text on your computer.