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Passwords serve as a crucial tool for individuals and businesses, granting access to services they rely on. However, cybersecurity professionals harbor a mix of disdain and acceptance towards passwords, acknowledging their necessity while also simultaneously despising their limitations. Despite their flaws, passwords remain the prevailing and widely embraced security measure.

Although passwords are tied to some negative associations, it remains undeniable that the cybersecurity industry and digital platforms heavily rely on them. Acknowledging this reality, the Cybersecurity, and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) advocate for robust passwords and password managers as integral components for online security.

Best Practices for Managing Your Passwords

Here are some best practices when it comes to passwords and responsibly managing them:

1. Use A Password Manager

Password Management tools are one of the best ways to organize passwords. These password managers are able to safely secure all passwords as well as generate new, unique ones. Password managers play a crucial role in enhancing password security, acting as a vital foundation for comprehensive protection. By directly tackling challenges such as password reuse and weak passwords, password managers serve as an essential solution for elevating overall cybersecurity measures.

2. Never re-use a password

Best practice is to use a unique, strong password for each site or system.  If a system is breached, the hackers will try that password at thousands of other sites.  If it is unique, they won’t be able to get to data at any other site.   This is where a Password Manger will really help out.  You won’t have to remember tens or hundreds of passwords.  Let the system track them.

3. Use strong passwords

A strong password is: At least 12 characters long but 14 or more is better. A combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Not a word that can be found in a dictionary or the name of a person, character, product, or organization.  A Password Manager can create unique and strong passwords for you – and then track them so you do not have to.

4. Set up Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication plays a vital role in elevating account security by introducing an extra layer of protection against compromised credentials. With this approach, accessing an online account requires an additional verification step beyond username and password, ensuring that cybercriminals face significant obstacles in breaching accounts, even if they manage to obtain the password.

5. Change Passwords Frequently

Changing your password every 90 days or quarterly can help reduce your risk of exposure and helps avoid a number of IT Security dangers. While changing all of your passwords every three to six months may be a time-consuming and occasionally frustrating endeavor, it serves as an undeniable approach to guarantee a certain level of safety for your online accounts. By adopting this proactive habit of regular password updates, you effectively reinforce your online protection, enhancing the security of your valuable digital assets.

At Apex Technology Management, we offer our clients a comprehensive security package. Apex Security Essentials provides multiple layers of protection against cyber threats and protects organizations with the tools they need to monitor and manage devices on a network. We offer our clients password managers, multi-factor authentication, security awareness training, and more to keep your business safe.

Kaitlin Giordano

Kaitlin Giordano is the Marketing Coordinator at Apex Technology Management, a California-based IT Support Company. She holds a bachelor's degree in business administration and marketing from Boise State University. She has a passion for content writing and driving brand awareness.