A good reminder from Property Management Insider: change your breakable password. February 1 was official “Change Your Password” Day, as declared by Gizmodo, a website dedicated to digital news and culture. Why does this matter for property managers in particular? As online property management software becomes more prevalent in the industry, so too does the risk of compromising private data and documents. In other words, having an easily-broken password can put your business at risk.
The New York Times reported recently, and disturbingly, that popular passwords (and there really shouldn’t be such a thing) include “12345,” “123456,” “abc123,” “password,” “princess,” “monkey,” and “soccer.” If your password resembles any of these, go change it, now. But even if it doesn’t, it might be easy to crack. Hackers have programs that can guess thousands of passwords a minute; you have to be smarter than they. Two fundamental ways to prevent them from guessing are one, have a difficult-to-guess-but-easy-to-remember password, and, two, don’t use the same password multiple times. This latter suggestion is important because if you are so unlucky as to be outwitted by a hacker and his programs, you don’t want him to have access to your every account—one is bad enough. In order to make a hard-to-crack password, follow these guidelines:
-Mix numbers, letters, and symbols. Try to use multiple of each.
-The longer, the better. Try a string of several words; if they form a normal phrase, mix a few of the words so the password doesn’t make sense, i.e. isn’t easily guessed.
-Don’t use significant dates. You think you’re the only one who can find out what year you were born?
-Be as random as possible. If a password has no discernable connection to your life, it will be harder to guess, even for a computer program.
-Don’t tell anyone your password! Especially in writing. Hackers can get into Facebook and email, too.