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How To Use Passwords To Protect Yourself From Data Loss And Theft

Do you want to know the most effective way to protect your personal privacy and improve data security at the office? It sounds simple, but it’s incredibly effective: You must get good at setting strong passwords.

But there’s more to it than that. Technology is always evolving, and recent developments have made it possible to improve your password security measures. It’s important that you keep up with the latest information, because (as we’ve all seen in recent months) hackers are always getting better at accessing the important data stored by retailers, healthcare organizations, the federal government, small business owners – and even celebrities’ private smartphone pictures!

If you could use an update on how best to manage your passwords to protect your data, have a look at the following list of best practices.

1) Change your password often. This seems obvious, right? But, just consider the recent Heartbleed development. It’s an online security problem that’s giving IT people (primarily server managers) headaches, because the open source code used across more than half of the Internet makes the server memory (RAM) vulnerable to hackers. Setting a strong password after a site has patched its vulnerability gives you more protection.

2) Don’t use the same passwords across multiple sites. If one gets breached, they’ll all become insecure.

3) Don’t forget to password protect ALL of your devices. Are you walking around using a smartphone without a lock on it? If you’re staying logged in to an email account, for example, anyone who finds your phone can access company and personal data. This tip is especially important if you have employees that work away from the office.

4) Consider using a password manager program. These can help you increase your security by offering a password generator, which is useful for anyone who isn’t sure how to set a strong password. Some managers have also added features that will alert you to the best time to change a password – typically after a security patch has been installed at a previously vulnerable site. That way, you don’t have to do the research yourself.

5) For added security, have IT experts set up your password managers for you. This matters if you aren’t familiar with the technology, don’t have time to figure out the initial configuration, or just want someone to set up a system best for your specific office needs. A good tech person will know whether or not you’ll need two-factor authentication security, or a manager program that monitors when employees log in to multiple computers in any given day.

6) While you’re at it, consider adding two-step authentication to your personal accounts. This is a good idea because even if someone happens to get your password, they won’t be able to log into your account from a strange computer. The way it works is that every time someone logs into the account from a new device, they’ll need the password AND a code that’s sent to your smartphone – which should be password protected, too.

Finally, if you have security questions be sure to get in touch with us at Oram Corporate Advisors! We’ll help you design the best IT strategy for your business, organization, or policies for employees. We invite you to get in touch today!

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