In the world of small business ownership, data is your lifeblood. Every day, you gather
critical information about your customers, manage your finances, and collaborate with
vendors and contractors. Yet, in our interconnected world, the threat of cybercrime
looms large. A single security breach can expose your business to catastrophic
consequences, from eroded client trust to costly legal battles. Protecting your company
from data theft is one of your most vital responsibilities.
At the heart of this protection lies a seemingly straightforward choice: your passwords.
Ron Schlecht, the visionary founder and managing partner of BTB Security, a trusted
partner for businesses looking to bolster their digital defenses, emphasizes the enduring
challenge posed by passwords. Schlecht aptly observes, "Passwords remain a
formidable obstacle for businesses of all sizes," underscoring the frequency with which
companies fall victim to cyberattacks due to weak password practices. To help you
safeguard your accounting business, let's explore a comprehensive list of seven
password pitfalls that should be avoided at all costs.
1. "Password": This notorious choice ranks as the ultimate password faux pas.
Variations like "P@ssword" may seem easy to remember, but they are often the first
targets for hackers.
2. "QWERTY": Simplicity is tempting, but using common sequences like the top-left
keyboard characters is an open invitation for hackers.
3. "12345": Numerical sequences like this are a digital red carpet for cybercriminals.
Avoid consecutive numbers or letters in your passwords.
4. "BusinessName1": Never use your business name or any easily guessable
variation, as it's an early choice for hackers seeking access to your valuable data.
5. "Business Address": Refrain from using any part of your business address in your
passwords. Mashing together street names and numbers is equally unwise.
6. "Date of Birth": Thanks to the internet, personal information like birth dates is readily
available. Avoid using any form of birth-related information as your password.
7. Simple Dictionary Words: Resist the urge to use commonplace words, especially if
they relate to your business. Avoid terms like "baseball," "football," or "soccer" for a
sports equipment store, and steer clear of industry-specific words.
So, what's the key to crafting a strong and memorable password?
Consider creating a passphrase and then substituting letters, characters, and
abbreviations within it. For instance, "my first car was a Honda in 1990" can be
transformed into "my1stc@r=honda90."
By avoiding the "not-so-magnificent seven" password choices outlined above, you can
fortify your data security with robust and difficult-to-crack combinations. With a strong
password strategy in place, you're well on your way to thwarting online threats and
safeguarding your small business's digital assets.