Password Security is definitely important, especially in the workplace. Passwords provide basic protection against unauthorized access to an organization’s systems and networks. Without one, anyone can gain access and even take control of the systems and the data in there.
Unfortunately, a lot of harm can sprout if malicious people get their hands on sensitive data. If you are handling clients’ sensitive information, data breaches can lead to identity theft. Besides using a lot of money to rectify the situation, the reputation of your business could be permanently damaged. It can be hard for people to trust you with their information after such an incident.
However, while passwords can provide basic protection of the systems, they themselves need to be protected if they are to serve you better. Here are 5 ways that you can ensure that passwords are secure in the workplace.
1. Teach employees on password etiquette
Most employees don’t understand the issue of password security. As long as they are able to log in to the system and get work done, they are okay. However, it is good to let your employees know that they have a degree of responsibility on the passwords that they use. You need to invest in employees training to teach them on passwords best practices including the following;
1. They should change generic passwords assigned to them by system administrator to include something unique to only them
2. They should use strong passwords that are hard to guess but easy to remember- they should avoid using common phrases or their personal information such as birthdays, names and the like
3. They should avoid writing their passwords down either on paper or plain text in digital form
4. They should avoid reusing the same password on different platforms
5. They should avoid sharing passwords with other people
2. Use VPNs
Times are changing how people work. With the emergence of remote working, workers don’t have to work from the office the whole time. However, they should be careful with the networks that they use to connect to the internet out there. For instance, connecting to a public Wi-Fi poses some cyber security threats as most of these connections are unsecure. If malicious people manage to connect to the same network, they can see what the employees are doing on the internet. If they are logging in to say, a bank account, these people can easily see the passwords.
It is good to avoid using public networks. If they have to, however, they should make the connection secure by using a reliable VPN such as NordVPN to connect to the internet. (Take a look at this NordVPN Review if you’d like to further consider this VPN provider.)
3. Be on the lookout for phishing emails
Phishing emails are a common way scammers use to get hold of their victims’ sensitive information and login credentials. These emails appear to come from trusted or authoritative persons in the organization. Clicking such emails can sometimes lead to fraudulent forms or websites that look real, but meant to deceive the receiver to give out their passwords and usernames.
These emails can be hard to decipher, but if employees are careful to check the credibility of each email, they can notice them. They should check at the senders’ email addresses for misspelling or addition of special characters such as a full stop and the like. In addition, they should confirm through a call if the person indeed sent the email.
4. Use a password manager
As said earlier, it is important to create unique and strong passwords and to ensure that they vary from one platform to the other. However, it can be challenging to memorize dozens of complicated passwords without the risk of forgetting some. Investing in a password manager can help solve the situation. All that employees have to do is keep the passwords in the manager, and only memorize the password required to unlock the manager. This way, they can create complex passwords without the worry of forgetting them or having to write them down on paper.
5. Delete all data when disposing off IT assets
One of the most important parts of data security management is remembering to delete all the data when disposing of IT assets at the end of their effective life. If some traces are left, cybercriminals can be able to restore back the data from the hard drives and get hold of sensitive information and passwords. Some data cleaning software only manages to wipe off file shortcuts while leaving the files intact. It is best to use a professional to do the cleaning for you.
As said earlier, passwords limit access to organizations’ systems. However, if malicious people were to get hold of them it would be the same as when you didn’t bother to set them at all. It is very important that you ensure that passwords remain with individual persons assigned to them, and changed as soon as they leave the organization. In addition, implement the above tips to ensure password security.
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