Best Password Security Tips for 2023
While the coming year promises many exciting developments in the field of technology, one thing that has not changed is the importance of having a strong and secure password. Despite ongoing research and advancements in both business and personal cybersecurity, cybercriminals remained as determined as ever to gain access to your online credentials for fun and profit. By learning about the best password security tips for 2023, you can help keep your various accounts and devices as safe as possible.
Consider Pros and Cons Before Enabling Remote Access on Any PC or Device
Regardless of whether you are a contractor working from home or the CIO of a small or medium corporation, remote access can easily be considered a double-edged sword. The ability to access your personal desktop from anywhere with an Internet connection can be incredibly useful. Still, such access also comes with the cost of your data potentially becoming compromised. Having the ability to access a digital collection of games and being able to access valuable apps and files as if your PC was in the room is undoubtedly beneficial. However, anything with remote access can be used by anyone who has the correct passwords.
For the reasons outlined above, you should avoid enabling remote access for any device that does not strictly need the function regularly. If you are a network administrator or otherwise involved in the allocation of employee access to various programs and services, you should ensure that a given user only has access to the apps, data, and resources necessary to accomplish a specific task.
Set Up Security Measures to Limit the Impacts of Unauthorized Password Sharing
The concept of giving employees only the access they need is referred to as the least-privilege principle to help network administrators quickly and easily identify potential issues. In addition, implementing further security measures such as session recording, user monitoring, and login records helps to ensure that any shared passwords will hopefully have a limited effect on the overall system security. By finding the appropriate compromise between access and security concerns, you can help reduce the possibility of user errors and help ameliorate the worst consequences if a cybercriminal successfully infiltrates your systems.
Research has shown that sharply curtailing an employee’s ability to download and install apps without express permission will also help reduce the likelihood of a cyber security breach. Not only does this technique help by limiting the possibility of individual devices being infected, but it also prevents any malware from being spread via connected networks or other electronics. Since even the most advanced technology can ultimately be compromised due to human error, this principle is highly effective. It prevents breaches due to incompetence, active malfeasance, and genuine errors of judgment.
Create Strong, Unique Passwords and Use a Password Manager with MFA
While this advice may seem like a cliché at this point, a password that is too simple or easy to guess can easily fall victim to a brute-force cyberattack. Another common error is using the same password across multiple different services, which increases the odds of a serious data breach occurring across multiple accounts. All too often, you can fall prey to the temptation of using your beloved pet, favorite sports team, or other commonly available data to create passwords that can be scalped from your social media and general online presence.
An easy way to protect your passwords is by using apps and services incorporating robust security features such as MFA or multi-factor authentication to verify your identity and prevent unwanted access. While MFA can come in several different formats, one of the most popular and secure is TOTP (time-based one-time password) which relies on single-use access codes on top of traditional usernames and passwords. This is a safe option for the individual user, and you can also implement TOTP for employee accounts for additional protection. If a cybercriminal should acquire login credentials, they will be effectively useless without access to the secondary means of authentication.
When creating and remembering unique passwords for your various accounts and apps, one of the simplest options for office workers and everyday netizens is to use a password manager. These services provide you with the tools to create secure passwords for individual websites, apps, and so on while also allowing you to catalog and access them as desired. Several important factors to consider when choosing password management services include support for multiple devices and platforms, security and privacy options, the ability to autofill saved passwords, and so on.
While no password manager is entirely immune to being breached, it is generally considered wiser to use a password manager than risk trying to remember potentially hundreds of separate passwords with unique characters and lengths. Depending on the type of information you are looking to password-protect, you may want to give due consideration to whether your password manager offers access to cloud storage services. Much like remote access, having your passwords connected to the cloud could present a cybercriminal with the opportunity for total access. Take care to thoroughly examine the security measures and protocols that will protect your passwords before giving your password manager the keys to your digital demesne.
Combining education, technology, and best practices, these 2023 password tips should help you make an informed decision. Be sure to check out our other security article to learn more about keeping your business data safe and secure.
About Dan Martin: Daniel Martin is a technology researcher and writer with more than a decade of experience. He is a professional librarian and an experienced tech teacher, writer and blogger. Specializing in technology, Dan has taught courses in technology and writing at the college level, developed web pages for businesses and higher educational institutions, written on tech topics for leading national publications and created numerous how-to guides.