Be Sure to Protect Your Online Business With Strong Passwords

One problem with running an online business is that you have to think about security in ways not everyone really thinks about it. You have to keep your site as safe as you can manage from hackers. While there’s no way that’s perfectly safe from someone determined to break into your site, you can make it more difficult by using strong passwords.

Problem is, many people don’t. Others think they have strong passwords but don’t quite have it right.

You’ve probably seen sites telling you if you have a strong or weak password by the number of characters you use. That’s one factor, but it isn’t the only one you should be considering. “123456789” may count by length as a fairly strong password, passing the rule of 8 or more characters, but it’s also #3 on this list of the 20 most common passwords.

What Makes a Strong Password?

Eight characters minimum is a good place to start for creating a strong passwords, but it’s not enough. Many long passwords are still easily guessed and commonly used.

A mix of capital and lower case letters, along with numbers and at least one special character, such as @, #, $, %, ^, &, *, and so forth is better. Length is still needed, but these improve your security. Make sure that you aren’t using words, names, a row of letters or numbers, or other very simple to guess combinations.

All that sounds like a headache to memorize. It doesn’t have to be.

The infographic I linked to above suggests that you think of a sentence you can remember easily, and make your basic password out of the first letter of each word in the sentence, then make some letters uppercase, and add in some numbers and punctuation to make it more complex. That’s a pretty good way to make a more secure password that you can remember.

That said, there’s one more thing that makes a password strong. It’s that you don’t keep using the same password over and over again. Talk about a pain if you log into a lot of different sites.

That doesn’t mean it will be impossible to remember all your passwords. Add in something that makes the password unique to that site. Many people use a part of the website’s name to help them remember the password while making it unique from their passwords on other sites. This keeps it memorable, yet you don’t have to worry that one site being hacked will expose your password to every other website you log into.

One challenge can be that some sites won’t let you use punctuation or special characters. You should have fairly complex passwords available for such sites, although I think that’s getting to be less of a problem.

I’ll be the first to admit that changing your old passwords to more secure versions is tedious. Really, really tedious, in fact. And while you may never have a site you own be hacked, it can happen to anyone, and that includes other places you log in. Better to have your password be unique to a particular site so the hack of one site doesn’t leave you scrambling to change your password all over the place.

Secure Your Business Logins the Best You Can

Sometimes passwords can be figured out with what is called a brute force attack – that is, a software keeps trying to log in until it succeeds. If you have WordPress installed on your site, for example, you can make that more difficult by installing a plugin to limit how many login attempts someone can make before being locked out for a time. There are other things you can do to protect your own WordPress installations, and this article at WP Beginner has some good suggestions.

And of course, there’s sadly no such thing as perfect security online. You can try your hardest, but sometimes things are out of your control. Just do the best you can so that your sites, your business and any other place you log in online is as secure as you can make it.

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