Real Clear Software Blog Post

10 Best Practices to Keep Your Passwords Safe

Keep your passwords safe

Passwords are not something to be taken lightly. You need a strong password to keep your online information safe. Here at Real Clear Software, we take data security very seriously and is a top priority. We believe that a client's data is essential to continued success and it is vital to protect that information. Unfortunately access "through the front door" or login screes is often the easiest way in for authorized users, because approved users rely on weak or simple passwords.

Adopting these practices help you choose a safe and secure password.

1. Create a strong password

Come up with a strong password that you can easily remember because weak passwords with common words that are easily guessed are easily cracked. While you may easily remember long phrase and sentences, computers and hackers find them difficult to guess. While you can remember something like 'frame cotton biggest', computers and hackers find it difficult to guess because it's illogical and long. You may think that something like 'S3cr@t@4' is a good password because you cannot remember it. You are wrong. Computers find such passwords easy to guess because they are short, and vowels are replaced by symbols. So in a nutshell, a long password is better than something with unusual symbols. Real Clear Software mandates minimum character password to help insure longer and more difficult passwords to crack.

2. Don't use people's names or dates

Many people have the habit of using names or special dates for passwords. It's better to avoid them especially if your friends or colleagues can easily guess them. This combination was even made fun of in the 1994 movie Clear and Present Danger with Harrison Ford. That was over 25 years ago, so hopefully that combination is long out of your mind.

3. Use syllables or acronyms for passwords

No matter what your language may be, it's better to avoid using words that appear in dictionaries for your password. You can instead create a password using the first letters of a familiar phrase. For example,' Twinkle twinkle little star' becomes Ttls, which makes a secure password.

4. Start mixing

A password comprising of a mix of both upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters or punctuation marks is something secure. Real Clear Software mandates minimum use of upper and lower case combinations. It is not hard to understand why, there are only so many keys on the key board and by incorporating the upper cases into the equation it exponentially increases the combination variables, thus making it even more difficult to crack.

5. Keep changing passwords

Make it a habit to keep on changing your password, especially for your email and financial accounts. This may seem cumbersome for people, but rest assured, it is MUCH EASIER than rectifying a breached account.

6. Don't reuse passwords

Most people make the mistake of reusing passwords in various services because it's easier for them to remember. Attackers have a habit of first hacking the more common websites like Facebook to reach your personal information. An attacker who managers to reach your Facebook account, can use the same login details to reach your personal finance and work sites. Therefore, it's better to maintain a habit of using unique passwords for all your accounts. You don't get a unique password by changing the last password's last number with tiny tweaks.

7. A password manager can help

If you worry about finding it difficult to remember all these complex and unique passwords, a password manager can help. There are both free and affordable options which help you remember and use long and unique passwords. They let you sync passwords across different devices, audit and reuse passwords and have policies which ensure you follow the right recommended practices. It's also better to come up with a good, and easily remembered master password that gives you access to your credentials. Employees at Real Clear Software have used systems like Keeper as a great password manager. It's also better to use two-factor authentications and to program the manager to using long phrases.

8. Account audit

It also helps to perform an account audit. This is where you change the weak and compromised passwords of old accounts and set up unique and strong passwords for them. There are tools that help you find out if someone has gained access to your email address so that you immediately change it.

9. Two-Factor Authentication

It's always better to have 2-factor authentication in supporting services like Office 365, Twitter and Gmail. This way even if attackers find out your password, they will not be able to access your account. 2-factor authentication helps prevent any illegal entry to important business services if its accounts are compromised.

10. Teach your employees

It's important that you realize that your employees play an important part in protecting your accounts from possible credential theft. Therefore, it's important you spend time and effort educating and training them so that they can recognize any attempts made by attackers to steal their credentials. You can use this article as a start in teaching them how to come up with strong passwords.

All these 10 tips can help you protect your passwords. Though it may be a challenge or frustrating to change and remember new passwords, it is only for your benefit. If your account is ever compromised, you will soon learn that the time, energy and effort to restore that information is exponentially more cumbersome than changing your password and applying the steps noted above. We at Real Clear Software's commercial and cloud based real estate management software accepts only secure and strong passwords and hence ensures data security, because that is part of our mission statement to eliminate future hassles before they occur.

For more information on Real Clear Software, visit, email, or phone (949) 445-6220.

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