Are you sure your password is secure? What could happen to you if someone did actually steal, or otherwise obtain, your password? For some, it might not be too bad but for others, many, many others, it could be devastating.

In this day and age the amount of malicious tools floating around the Internet, phishing scams in email, and just plain bad people is overwhelming. It is impossible to protect yourself from every threat that’s out there but there are several ways, easy ways in fact, to reduce the impact if something bad does happen.

The average person today has at least 10 to 20 (many even have hundreds) username and password combinations to remember; personal email accounts like Yahoo!, Gmail, and Hotmail, work computer, social networking sites like Facebook, banking site, web forums, and so many, many more.

How do you keep up with them all? Easy right? Just use the same password, something simple like 123456, iloveyou, mypassword, your birthday, etc., for all your accounts. Even better, use a couple different ones, or combinations of one of them, and write them down on some paper or put them in a spreadsheet? WRONG! Sounds silly doesn’t it? Then again, someone reading this article just nodded their head to the spreadsheet thing. I bet they even thought to themselves, “But I password protected the spreadsheet.” Give a marginally skilled person about 5 minutes and your spreadsheet password will be gone.

Ladies and gentlemen, what I just described is real. In fact, it’s more real than most people believe. Birthdays, simple words like iloveyou, sequential or a series of numbers, are the most commonly used passwords today. These are also the easiest to guess or even crack with simple tools readily available on the Internet. Understanding how to create a safer, more secure, password and using different passwords for different accounts is critical.

So far we’ve focused on you, the individual. Think for a moment about your employees. If you do not have a secure password policy enacted for your business imagine the potential impact it could have on your business. One of your employees, at home, has a password compromised by a trojan or some other malicious means. It just happens that it is the same password they use on their work computer. It wouldn’t take long for a determined hacker to have the ability to potentially access whatever information your employee has access to. What could that do to you and your business?

Too many people fail to adopt better practices because of the impression that the additional burden just isn’t worth it. This just isn’t the case. While there is certainly the potential for some measure of inconvenience related to security, it isn’t nearly what many perceive it to be, and when weighed against the risk of doing nothing at all the burden is normally negated all together. You don’t have to have draconian password standards to be safe, you just need to do something.

We at Lescault & Walderman assist many our clients with the training, information, and adoption of password and security policies. We also help by providing simple software and tools to lessen risk and impact to them personally as well as their business and clients. Don’t wait until something bad happens to make the right changes.

Contact us today, we can help you put all the right things in place to work more securely.

Tony Niemetz

Author

Lescault & Walderman