6 password security tips from the pros

(Last updated on April 7, 2016)

It seems like a month has not gone by without news about cyber-attacks. In the past few months we have witnessed high-profile cyber-attacks on Adobe, eBay, and Target that have exposed millions of records. This graphic shows you the biggest American data breaches from all causes, including hacking since 2004.

Large corporations are not the only victims of cyber-attacks. Hackers are increasingly targeting smaller businesses as there vulnerabilities make them easier targets. This article from the Wall Street Journal provides six tips to help you protect yourself from the hackers:

  • The Password Is Dead, Long Live the Passphrase. Use passphrases and avoid common phrases to make passwords harder to crack. However, some websites limit passwords to 16 characters so creating a passphrase can be trickier than it sounds. Specops Password Management supports passphrases which allows users to set passwords longer than 20 characters to increase security. It also allows you to synchronize extends the complexity of your Windows password policy to other systems.
  • Hold the Salt. “Salting” refers to the practice of using variations of a standard password for different sites. This is not safe and should be avoided.
  • Leave the Family and Dogs Behind. Some hackers can figure out your passwords based on information you give out on Social Media. Avoid using the names of your family members and pets.
  • Your Clever Keyboard Pattern Isn’t That Clever. Avoid passwords that mimic patterns on keyboards such as “qwerty” or “2wdcft6” and terms that would be obvious to a techy such as “entrophy.” With Specops Password Management, you can disallow specific words, display names, user names, consecutive characters and incremental passwords which help prevent users from creating weak passwords.
  • Turn on Two-Step Authentication. Two-step authentication verifies a user’s identity by sending a special code generally via text message to the user’s mobile device. Two-step authentication makes it hard for hackers to steal your password because they will also need to have access to your smartphone. Specops Password Management allows you to send mobile verification codes for added security.
  • Use a Password Manager. Some online security expert recommends the use of password managers to help users organize passwords. But you have to make sure to install and keep up-to-date anti-virus software to make sure no hackers can remotely access your computer and log your keystrokes.

Specops Password Management is a simple solution that increases your password security without driving up costs. It enables new password policy settings in Active Directory and helps you meet password compliance requirements.

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