5 Password Tips and Tricks When Choosing Passwords

5 Password Tips and Tricks When Choosing Passwords

Strong passwords can slow or potentially defeat the various methods hackers employ to attack your systems, accounts and emails. Being a company that provides small business IT support, we see simple cyber security measures being neglected. Using these 5 password tips within your business will significantly reduce the risk of a breach.

A strong password is key to protecting your business’ information.

Password Tips


1. Use a different password for every website

If you your password is compromised, wither you’re a victim of a brute-force attack or there is a data breach on an external website you use, fraudsters often try and use the same password and username across multiple accounts and websites.

2. Avoid using repetition, dictionary words, usernames, pronouns etc

Fraudsters could easily repeatedly guess likely words and phrases such as partners, children’s or your pet’s name as well as your favourite sports team. This information can often be easily accessed on social media. Consider memorable phrases and sentences.

When Adobe had a data breach the most common passwords in use were:

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. admin
  4. 12345678
  5. Photoshop
  6. adobe1
  7. 11111

3. Use a wide variety of characters

Make sure your password contains characters from the following groups. Mix it up and use variations on capitalisation, spelling, numbers and punctuation even use a combination for four random words.

Characters Examples
Uppercase Letters A, B, C, D, ….
Lowercase letters a, b, c, d, …
Numbers 0, 1, 2, 3, …
Symbols !”£$%^&*()_+\<>?/@#:; …

Online or offline dictionary attacks where a fraudster uses an automated program that includes text files of words which repeatedly attempts to login. They also use different dictionaries such as names, English words, foreign words, phonetic patterns, number or symbol suffixes, and substitutions in words for capitalisations or “$” for “s” or “1” for l” etc.


4. Password Length Matters

Make your password at least eight characters long. Longer passwords are harder to work out.

5. Turn a sentence or a phrase into your password

Think for a sentence that is personal or memorable for you. Then using the words in the sentence use abbreviations (different types) to make a unique password with capitalisation, numbers and symbols.
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