Password Security and Tips for Protecting your Small Business


Modern tech and the internet have made it easier for hackers to gain access to our personal, confidential data. Many think that only the big companies get targeted by hackers, but sadly, that's not the case. So how do you make sure you don’t become an easy target? Here are some tips that will help keep your data safe.

How can you be hacked?

There are a variety of different ways that a hacker can gain access to your accounts but one of the main ways is by using an automated software that guesses the username and password combination. At this point, weak or common passwords are easy to identify, and this is where they gain access. You can make this process more difficult for the hacking by creating a complex password.

This chart shows how long it takes a hacker to brute force your password:


Another way a hacker can gain access to your account is by phishing. We’re all bound to have received spam emails telling you to click a link pretending to be a legitimate company like the bank. This is how hackers can gain some of your data like bank details, passwords, mobile numbers etc.

How to make your password more secure:

  1. Never use a name that can be related to you in some way, whether that’s your personal name, a family member or even your dog’s name.

  2. On the same note, avoid using important dates like anniversaries or dates of birth. These passwords are very easy to hack into, especially if they’ve already got some of your data.

  3. Entering a password over a publicly accessible WIFI connection. For example, logging on to your accounts using restaurant WIFI, or shopping centres, they can easily leave you exposed to hackers not only locally using the network but also from anyone who has access to the network from around the world.

  4. Use long passwords, making sure it is at least 15 characters and combine letters, numbers, special characters, and symbols. The longer a password is the more secure it will be. Also use different passwords for each site you have. You don’t want to leave yourself more exposed over a wide range of sites.

  5. Use a string of words makes it more secure. An easy strategy to create memorable but secure passwords is to pick 3-4 random words that have no association and combine them. The more random, the better as it means it will be harder for a hacker to establish any more form of common pattern.

Much like having public liability insurance, a robust password strategy is essential to protecting yourself from hackers and potential damage to your business. Don’t give them easy access.

Password managers like Lastpass.com or 1Password make creating, storing and sharing secure passwords super easy so we always recommend them to our clients and use them ourselves here at Tick.