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What’s in a Password?

We talk about passwords a lot here at alphatech— a strong one can be the difference between a disaster and protecting your data. As phishing scams become more sophisticated, and businesses increasingly move their work online in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get to grips with password security. Our experts have put together a handy guide on how to make safe passwords, and how to make the most of your security.

Common password choices include ‘123456’, ‘password’, and the user’s name. The fact is, every IT professional knows that these passwords are often chosen for their simplicity and easiness to remember— and so do scammers. A strong password should be extremely difficult to guess; no birthdays, obvious word choices, or easily guessable connections. Ideally, your password should contain both upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and at least one special character. For example, ‘alphatech1’ would be a weak password, but ‘4lPh4+3C.h’ is far stronger, and familiar enough that it should be easier to remember.

If you are struggling to come up with a strong password, consider using a random password generator— there are many free versions available online, and a truly random password offers the best security possible. You should also consider changing your passwords every 90 days, which makes it harder for someone to gain access to your accounts.

Furthermore, never reuse passwords across different websites. Although this does make it easier to remember your log-in details, it also means that if someone guesses or gains access to your password, they may be able to access multiple accounts and cause even more damage. This is particularly important across different areas of life– for example, financial information and social media should never be protected by the same details, given how easily social media scams can gain access to passwords! Google’s Online Security Report found that 65% of people reuse their password, leaving themselves vulnerable to attack.

For advice on better protecting your data, you can talk to our experts here.