Jacqueline Langen

May 8, 2022

Article

The modern-day guide: how to secure your online passwords

With cybersecurity attacks at an all-time high in Canada, it’s critical to ensure that you are protecting the privacy of your online accounts. To give you an idea of how intelligent anonymous hackers are, in March 2021 the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) was hit by a cyberattack of which the attackers initially gained access to over 100,000 user login credentials.  

After weeks of investigations, it was concluded that over 800,000 accounts were affected. The CRA said that it’s possible the login information may have been obtained outside of the CRA’s online portal. However, whether the hackers gained access via the CRA or via other online platforms associated with each user, the message remains the same: the importance of protecting personal, financial and other sensitive data online is no joke. Read on to uncover the top ways how you can protect your passwords online.  

Why is it important to have a strong password?

Passwords are the first method of protection when it comes to keeping cyber criminals at by and preventing unauthorized access to your accounts. In terms of how to create a strong password, aim to keep your passwords to a minimum of 8 characters long and create a unique password for each account. Additionally, always remember to sign out of programs once you are finished and consider changing your passwords every 90 days.  

Setup Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)  

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is an added layer of security during the sign-in process and is often required for businesses to fulfill cybersecurity insurance requirements. Presented by vendors such as Azure AD, MFA provides an additional layer of security, while also keeping the process straight forward for users. When signing into applications or accounts, users are prompted to provide an alternative form of identity verification, such as inputting a one-time code they receive by phone or biometrics, such as scanning a fingerprint. 

Download a password manager 

As the best passwords should be 8 characters or longer and contain a wide variety of characters, symbols and numbers, they can be hard to remember. By utilizing a trusted password manager such as LastPass or 1Password, you can store long and complex passwords securely in one place. Although you must create a master password to access all the others, a password manager is a great solution for keeping your online passwords safe and accessible to only you. Investing in a password manager can benefit businesses by securing password management, reducing password retrieval time, helping your team generate stronger passwords and more. 

Don’t reuse passwords

Although it may be an effortless way to remember all your passwords, it also creates an easy route for cybercriminals to compromise your credentials for multiple accounts. By reusing the same password, you provide easier access to hackers to commit crimes such as stealing your money, sensitive personal and work info, or even identity theft. Generally, the first point of entry a hacker will attempt is your password. By having policies in place that prevent reusing passwords, businesses can better protect the integrity of their data, prevent multiple attacks from taking place and instill the importance of strong passwords within employees.  

Avoid creating a password with personal information 

When creating your passwords, avoid using information that is publicly available such as your name, email, birthday, etc. Even though these password options are easier to remember, they are also far less secure. As most of our personal information such as our birthdays, email addresses and more has been added to social media accounts, it’s that much easier for cybercriminals to access the info and try it out as your password.  

Start maximizing your cybersecurity 

Interested to learn more about how you can maximize your cybersecurity? If you are a business owner keen on securing your team’s accounts, visit www.getalpha.ca/contact and get in touch with our IT experts today for a free discovery call. By learning more about your business and current IT infrastructure, we will develop enterprise-level cybersecurity solutions to protect the integrity of your business.