Passwords are the main line of defense between your data and the myriad of people who want to use it for their own benefit. Knowing the major threats is important with so much pressure on your passwords. Today, we’d like to provide a cheat sheet to help you manage your passwords more effectively. 

Who are the Threats?

It’s important to understand why passwords are so critical. In many cases, they are the last line of defense between users and the data and applications that organizations depend on. Here are three ways hackers try to steal your passwords. 

  • Brute force attacks – This is when a person looking to infiltrate an account uses advanced software to guess passwords. These applications can test thousands to millions of different character combinations every second to try and ascertain the correct password. 
  • Social engineering – Scammers will use all types of methods to get users to give up their passwords willingly.
  • Straight theft – Often, passwords can be lifted out of notebooks and through common thievery.

Best Practices to Maintain Security

You can do plenty of things to ensure that you aren’t the weakest link in your organization’s cybersecurity policy. Here are some:

  • Don’t replicate passwords – Having a unique password for every single account is important to ensure that you don’t run the chance of multiple account breaches using one password. 
  • Use all characters – There are a lot of potential characters you can use from upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters to help improve password complexity.
  • Create longer passwords – The longer the passwords are the more secure they are.
  • Use passphrases – One of the best ways to ensure that your passwords are complex enough and easier to remember is to use a passphrase. By choosing three words that aren’t typically used together, like “steakvacuumhighway” you pretty much ensure that no one could possibly guess it. Fortify it with some numbers, symbols, and some capital letters and you are on your way to protecting your account.

Other Tools

A couple of additional tools can help you improve your password security. They include:

  • Use multi-factor authentication – To best protect your account, an extra layer of protection can make all the difference. Nowadays, most password-secured accounts have some type of multi-factor authentication option available. 
  • Use a password manager – A password manager is an encrypted repository for all of your account passwords. By using one, you can reduce the number of passwords you need to remember while also having additional security tools (like secure password creation) at your disposal. 

If you would like to have a serious conversation about improving your organization’s security posture, including strategies to ensure your employees are doing everything they can to keep your business’ applications and data secure, call us today at 888-748-2525.


Here’s a Useful Password Cheat Sheet

Rafiq Masri

With over 25 years of experience in Information Technology, Rafiq is one of the most accomplished, versatile and certified engineer in the field. He has spent the past 2 ½ decades administering and supporting a wide range of clients and has helped position Network Management, Inc. as a leader in the IT Managed Services space.

Rafiq has built a reputation for designing, building and supporting top notch IT infrastructures to match the business objectives and goals of his clients.

Embracing the core values of integrity, innovation, and reliability, Rafiq has a very loyal client base with some customer relationships dating back 20+ years.

Rafiq holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and has completed graduate programs in Software Engineering and Business at Harvard and George Mason University. Rafiq is a former founder and CEO of Automation, Inc. in Ann Arbor, Michigan as well as a valued speaker on entrepreneurship and technology at industry events such as ExpoTech and others.