How to Create a Strong Password

Topics: Cyber Liability

5 Tips for Creating Secure Passwords

After a business has been the victim of a cybersecurity attack where critical information was accessed, there’s no doubt it can be difficult to recover. A perfect example is the Equifax data breach from 2017, which cost the company more than 275 million dollars. According to Reuters, this was likely the most expensive hack in corporate history, compromising the sensitive data of more than 147 million consumers.

For a small business, the consequences might be not be quite as high as the example above. However, your clients still will not escape unharmed. Whether sensitive information was lost or the business’s reputation becomes tarnished, these cyber attacks leave a wave of destruction in their wake. Agents should not only understand how to help identify their client’s risk for cyber exposure, but can also offer helpful advice to help them prepare for such a data breach.

Password Security Tips and Guidelines 

We rely on the internet for many things we do. With the number of cyber attacks increasing every year, cybersecurity is a major concern for businesses of all sizes. This is why it’s so vital for agents to make a concerted effort to help their clients manage any potential risks. And even with the latest and greatest antivirus software and the most powerful hardware firewall, a small business can easily become compromised due to the weak passwords employees use to access information. With cyber criminals seeking to take advantage of businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever for businesses to maintain impenetrable cybersecurity.

One of the best things small businesses (and agents, too!) can do to help protect themselves from a cybersecurity attack is to understand how to make a strong password. Share these password safety tips with your clients to ensure they understand how to develop strong, secure passwords to safeguard sensitive data:

Password Safety Tip #1: Don’t use the same password twice.

It’s often common for people to use the same password to log in to a variety of websites. Employees at businesses of all sizes should be encouraged to use a different password for each of their important accounts. If one website experiences a breach, the other sites using that same password are also at risk. (See tip #5 to help make this more realistic!)

Password Safety Tip #2: Use a mix of characters including letters, numbers and symbols.

It’s always tempting to create a password using a loved one’s name, a pet’s name, a birthday or anniversary and so on. However, these types of passwords are generally quite easy for a hacker to figure out. Instead, passwords should be at least 12 characters long and include upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Additionally, another great strong password idea is to think of a pass phrase instead of just a word. For example, the phrase “I love chocolate” could be turned into a mix of characters to look like: !L0v3_Ch0c0l8#.

Password Safety Tip #3: Avoid sharing passwords.

Passwords should always be kept confidential. Users within the organization should not divulge their passwords to anyone, including other coworkers or friends. The more people who have access to a password, the more likely it is for that password to get passed on to others who may abuse it.

Password Safety Tip #4: Don’t keep passwords written down near computers.

Remembering all the different passwords for all the different systems and accounts can be difficult, and that’s why many people take to posting their passwords on a notepad or sticky note on their computer monitor. While it’s fine to write down passwords, they should never be kept out in the open where anyone can see them.

Password Safety Tip #5: Utilize a password manager.

A password management service will generate secure passwords that are extremely difficult to crack. It also eliminates the need to remember multiple passwords every time a new account is opened. Password managers create a strong, reliable password every time a new account is needed on a website, storing all passwords a single location. These passwords are then accessible through one master password.

Cyber Liability Insurance Can Protect Your Client’s Organization

Learn more about Cyber Liability Insurance policies from AmTrust, which help protect small businesses from some of the costs associated with a variety of cybersecurity attacks. Your clients will feel confident knowing they have coverage for losses incurred following a data breach. Contact us today to learn more.

This material is for informational purposes only and is not legal or business advice. Neither AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates represents or warrants that the information contained herein is appropriate or suitable for any specific business or legal purpose. Readers seeking resolution of specific questions should consult their business and/or legal advisors.

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