Top 5 tips to strengthen small-business password security

As we use technology tools to manage more facets of business operations, the threat posed by hacking and identity theft grows. It’s a problem for major corporations with vast IT resources. But it’s just as important for smaller enterprises to safeguard their vital data.

Here are 5 tips all small businesses can use to strengthen security with better password practices:

1. Make sure your password is easy to remember but difficult to guess

It may seem obvious, but many users fall into the trap of using publicly available information for their passwords, such as children’s names, college football teams or birth dates. It’s important to make sure your password isn’t in the dictionary – or your Facebook profile.

2. Consider using both upper case and lowercase letters as well as numbers

Choose a password with no personal information that is at least six characters long and that contains both letters and numbers. Using upper and lowercase letters makes your password even more difficult to guess.

3. Substitute numbers that look like letters in your password

One way to easily incorporate numbers is to choose numerals that resemble letters. For example, the password “soldier” could be entered as “501dier,” rendering it much more difficult to guess.

4. Convert a favourite saying into a secure password

It’s easy to remember a favourite expression, and if you use the first letter of each word as your password, it will be difficult to crack. For example, the expression “Just another beautiful day in paradise” could be converted to “JABDiP.”

5. Use a keyboard mapping technique

Designate an adjacent key as the substitute for the key in your easy-to-remember password. For example, if you designated the upper-left key above your chosen password letter, you could convert the password “Baseball” into “Gqw3gqoo.”

By using these simple tips, you can make an easy password difficult to crack. This will go a long way toward protecting important business data.

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Bill Carey is the Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Siber Systems. With over 16 years’ marketing and business development experience, Bill guides the overall market strategy and business direction for Siber Systems. He has developed strategic agreements with top tier companies such as Yahoo and Symantec as well as directed the successful launch of Siber Systems’ products to market. Prior to joining Siber Systems, Bill founded IAG Marketing, and co-founded and served as COO and CMO of Sandbox.com. Bill has also held senior positions at PriceWaterhouse (now PricewaterhouseCoopers). Bill is a CPA (1993) and received a BBA from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA.