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If you use the same password for multiple systems—online shopping, email, your company’s cloud bookkeeping solution, etc.—you’re not alone
The fact is, with just one user password, hackers can often break into multiple applications and systems. Your whole business can very quickly be put at risk. That’s why a good security practice is to have a different, strong password for every account. A breach will be isolated to that account, and the fallout will be much smaller and easier to manage.
- Be extra protective of your sensitive accounts. When it comes to ultra-sensitive accounts like company servers or your banking apps, make extra sure the password you use isn’t one you’ve used anywhere else. Banks usually have strong security measures, but even those won’t protect you if someone tries a password you’ve used somewhere else and it works. The consequences could be disastrous.
- Email is another big one to safeguard—work and personal. If someone gets into your email, the potential for damage goes up exponentially. They can send out phishing, ransomware, or other malicious attacks to any or all of your contacts, and they’ll seem legitimate because they’ve come directly from you.
- Be unique and strong. Of course, in addition to being unique, your passwords have to be strong, too. At a minimum, that means making each one long. Pick one with at least eight characters, but the longer the better. If you can use phrases of multiple words instead of a single word, that’s even better still. (And for goodness’ sake, don’t use “password”.)
- So why don’t more people use unique, strong passwords for every account? Usually, because they feel like it’s too much work. If you have dozens or hundreds of accounts, having a different password for each one might seem like a royal pain. And long, complex passwords are definitely hard if not impossible to remember. Fortunately, there are solutions to help manage passwords for you so your brain (or an insecure notebook or spreadsheet) doesn’t have to do all the work. Having the right tools is just as important as having the right practices in place.
If you’d like to learn more about how to manage your passwords, let us know. And watch for our next blog on how you can add extra security by changing your passwords periodically.
Mary S. Rhyne was raised in Wilmington, NC, and received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Immediately after graduation, Mary worked at a local family-owned business for 20 years.
CyberSleuth has given me peace of mind with my cyber security. I have needed this service for several years but never found the right fit, until now.
–Mary S. Rhyne, CPA
Manny has been extremely responsive and makes great suggestions for us to implement not only on the cyber security side but also just on the IT side of things. We are a fully virtual CPA firm with offices in two different cities. I sleep better at night knowing he and CyberSleuth are protecting my and my client’s data.
The valuable experience working in a family-owned business taught me the ins and outs of running a small business. I decided to further my career by pursuing the CPA credential. I went back to school to get the additional education needed to sit for the Uniform CPA Examination. I passed the exam the first time within five months while continuing to work for a local CPA 30 hours a week and raising my family. My NC CPA license is #41090.
In October of 2020, I expanded my firm by hiring a full-time bookkeeper and administrator to help me grow and serve my clients. With her years of accounting, customer service, and administrative experience, our firm can better serve you.
When I'm not working, I spend my time with my husband, three children and dog. They are the reason I started my own firm and support me daily.