keyboard 1983410 1920According to a recent Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report, weak passwords are responsible for as many as 81 percent of hacking-related data breaches.

There’s never been a more important time to improve your password security and protect your systems and data, so here are our best three tricks to help you strengthen your passwords.

  1. Longer passwords are more effective than complex

Modern encryption and new cracking methods mean that longer passwords are now much more secure than a complicated combination of characters. The ideal length is over 16 characters – these take hundreds or thousands of years to crack via brute force attack, compared to the seconds it takes an 8 character password to be cracked. However, a long password alone won’t be enough. To increase the security of your password it’s advisable to also use a combination of upper case, lower case, numbers and characters.

  1. Password managers make it much easier for you and much harder for hackersPassword managers such as LastPass, DashLane or 1Password make it easy for users to save long, complex passwords, and can even generate random passwords for new accounts. Having different passwords for each account adds a new layer of security because it means if hackers crack one of your passwords, they have to start all over again if they want to hack multiple accounts.
  2. Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) methodsMulti-factor authentication means using multiple devices to gain access with your password – a very secure extra layer to strong passwords alone. Make sure you’re using a push notification-based MFA solution, which uses an encrypted channel to send authentication request verifications to your smartphone. We also recommend avoiding MFA solutions that send a five or six digit code as a text message to your phone, as these messages can be intercepted. Instead, stick to the push-notification-based MFA solutions.

If you have any questions or concerns about your password security, get in touch with our team on 01522 883636 and we’ll do all we can to assist you.