Make sure your office passwords are secure

In today’s high-tech society, business operators need to be cautious not only about securing their physical premises to avoid theft, but also about making sure their online systems remain protected from cyber threats.  Passwords used for internet activity play a key role in preventing unwanted criminal access to important business details (such as bank accounts and client databases), and it is for this reason that CENTURY 21 Real Estate franchise owners and managers need to encourage careful password selection by staff members within their organisation as well as practicing this themselves. 

The US-based provider of password management applications, SplashData, recently released its list of the worst passwords of 2011.  In an effort to encourage the use of stronger passwords, SplashData identified the most common passwords used, which was compiled from files containing millions of stolen passwords posted online by hackers. 

In the list of 25 passwords, the top 5 were:
• password
• 123456
• 12345678
• qwerty
• abc123

According to SplashData’s CEO Morgan Slain, hackers can easily break into many accounts just by repeatedly trying common passwords.  He cautioned that even though people are encouraged to select secure, strong passwords, many continue to choose weak, easy-to-guess ones, placing themselves at risk from fraud and identity theft. 

As a CENTURY 21 Real Estate franchise owner and/or manager, what tips can you provide your staff to ensure strong passwords are enacted? Morgan Slain recommends against having passwords that are easily guessable, such as a short or common words in the dictionary, as it “is like leaving your door open for identity thieves”.

SplashData suggests the following tips for creating more secure passwords:
• Use passwords of eight characters or more with mixed types of characters
• Avoid using the same username/password combination for multiple websites
• Consider the use of a password manager application that organises and protects passwords and can automatically log you into websites. 

As businesses move to store increasing amounts of data online, it is now more important than ever to ensure strength in the passwords used by yourself and staff members.  By avoiding common mistakes and educating your staff about the importance of password protection, you will be well on your way to protecting your CENTURY 21 Real Estate franchise from online threats.

Posted by George Tarbey on 28/11/2011 at 11:06 AM | Categories:

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