Five top tips for secure password protection

About the author

Jochen Haller is Head of Information Security at 1 & 1 IONOS. He is responsible for information security management and continuous improvement of corporate information security standards.

The security of your business is paramount. But when it comes to protecting businesses from online threats, only 15% of the UK population believe they know how to protect themselves from harmful activity.

Regardless of the size of your business, the first line of defense against hackers and unwanted visitors is to develop a strong password protection strategy. As biometric and facial recognition technologies become more popular, text-based, alphanumeric passwords will continue to be the norm for the foreseeable future. So how can you make sure your business is as secure as possible?

1. Do not recycle passwords

64% of users use the same password for some or all of their online accounts. That is, when hackers access one, it takes a few seconds for them to access another. It is important that you invest time in password creation. Do not use the same sign-ins for each account you've set up, but create a unique, hard-to-guess password for each platform. It may sound like hard work in your memory, but it's worth it for corporate security.

2. Use your imagination

National Cyber ​​Security's review of 100,000 passwords to be unlocked by online scammers revealed that 23.2 million people used the trivial password "123456" as their password. Remember: your passwords should be memorable, but can not be guessed. This means that you should not include any information in your password that is easy to find online. Your date of birth, street name or house number of your company.

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3. Complexity is the key

Think of longer phrases, different numbers and special characters. Sentences can be easier to remember than passwords with single words. Create memorable mottos and then replace some letters with numbers and punctuation marks.

Password systems can also work well if a strong master passphrase varies slightly for different accounts. The idea is that you remember the "core" of an expression, but make minor differences based on the account you sign up with. For example, the passphrase could be:Us! Ng (INSERT WORD) MakesM3Happy ', Where the second word is edited depends on the site where you log in: "Us! NgEbayMakesM3Happy" or "Us! NgFacebookMakesM3Happy".

4. Consider random generators

GMX's study of UK password habits found that 30% of respondents use 10 or more services that require sign-in. In that sense, creating, storing, and storing all these passwords can be a daunting task. However, there are tools that can help you and your business. For example, if you're having trouble being creative, password managers like KeePassX can help you make clear suggestions.

5. Use encryption for further protection

Implementing password managers, where you can store passwords in encrypted form and access them through a master password, is an easy way to improve enterprise security.

In addition, an effective approach is to establish two-factor authentication to add another layer of security. Here, the user specifies two different authentication factors to verify his identity and better protect the resources being accessed. This usually includes the entry of a text-based password and a second security factor, eg. A security token or biometric element (facial scan or fingerprint).

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For more information about protecting your business online, see the Password Security Guide for 1 & 1 IONOS.

Jochen Haller, Head of Information Security at 1 & 1 IONOS

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