Facility Security, Part Five: The Key to Creating Secure Passwords

January 25, 2017


Cybercrime is getting worse every year. One estimate claims that its impact on the world economy is as high as $15 trillion. In other articles, we’ve covered several forms of cybercrime, including ransomware, phishing, visual hacking, as well as threats related to cell phone infections. This month we’ll look at one of the easiest ways to prevent cybercrime, but it’s a way that most people fail to properly appreciate – creating a secure password.

There’s a fine line to walk between creating a password that is secure and one that is easy enough to remember. Obviously using your pet’s name can be easy to hack, whereas using something like %Fbo*2Bq is highly secure but will be too hard to remember, forcing employees to write them down, which negates the security of the password.

Here are some tips to creating secure passwords that are also easy to remember.

  1. Avoid easy passwords like password, abc123, welcome, iloveyou, qwert, 123456, or even using your username as a password. These are not just random examples – these are actually the most used passwords in the world.
  2. Use more than one word. One word passwords are very easy for hackers to crack. But by simply putting two random words together that you can remember, such as fluffygown, rumpleball or jinglehook, you drastically increase the security of the password. Adding symbols between those words increases the security even further, for example fluffy#gown, rumple!ball or jingle%hook.
  3. Use different character classes. This has become commonplace and for good reason. Typically, the more character classes you use in your password, the more secure it is. Classes include: lower case letters; upper case letters; numbers; and symbols (e.g. %^&*><). StarterBoy is more secure than starterboy. $tarterB0y is even more secure.
  4. Use “Leet” or “leetspeak” (a.k.a. 1337), which is an alternative alphabet often used online. In Leet, you replace characters with others that look similar. For example, an E becomes a 3, an S becomes 5, etc. For example, starterboy becomes 5t@R73r80y. Learn more in the quick guide to 1337.
  5. Be sure to use different passwords for different sites and change them regularly. Do not use your company passwords on your Facebook page, or vice versa. Encourage your employees to use these tips not just for logging into to your network or servers, but also for any site that require passwords. Employees should change their passwords every quarter.

Use a little imagination and you can create a memorable and secure password that will help keep your facility safe from cybercrime. For more help on keeping your facility secure, contact Vanguard Resources.