passwords and user authentication

The State of Passwords and Two-Factor Authentication

Since the start of computing, usernames and passwords have been required to authenticate user access like a padlock would protect a gym locker.

As data became more valuable and hacking became more sophisticated, passwords have also had to become much more comprehensive and complicated to be secure.

Today, “two-factor” or “passwordless” authentication have become more popular. Two-factor authentication uses typical password plus a code sent to an app via a text message for an addition confirmation that YOU are indeed YOU.

Two factor and more advanced firewalls are detecting fraudulent access activity with better success.

People are also very satisfied with Single Sign On (SSO) password authentication systems like used with Google, Microsoft and Zoho. Once signed in to one product, you are able to access ALL of the other suite of products as your authentication has been properly verified.

Browser based password saving and third party tools have also helped minimize the trouble of remembering different passwords.

Choosing a Secure Password

Choosing your name as your password for your account is not secure and it will also be easily guessed when another person tries to get into your account. This also applies to using usernames, partial or full, as the password.

Do NOT Make it THAT Easy

The first thing that pops into most people’s heads when they think of choosing a password is the word “password.” Do NOT use the word “password” as a password for any of your accounts as this is generally the first attempt by anyone wishing to break in.

Password Sharing

It is best to avoid password sharing whenever possible. It is tempting to let coworkers, friends, and family have access to our accounts, but sharing our passwords makes it less secure. The means by which we share also make it more susceptible, in some cases, to having your accounts compromised and valuable information unsecure. The more people that have your password, the more susceptible you are to the password getting into the wrong hands.

Password Strength

Use an appropriate mixture of alphanumeric values to ensure security. 123456 is not a good password and neither is qwertyuiop or abcdefg. Passwords should be long enough to be secure but still able to be remembered. Using the password a2b0333w9987u309e82@#4%^ would be a great password ideally but most likely difficult to remember. It is great to use phrases and sentences to help remember passwords. For example, “Alex goes swimming at 4:30 pm” can be used as a password Alexgoesswimmining@430pm. This style can also be used by using the first letter of memorable phrases to create passwords: Alex Loves Eating Pizza At 12 everyday to Alep@12everyday.

A company like CCNY Tech can help you create the Right IT Infrastructure for your business or organization. Let our team of engineers find the right solution to make your system run securely and efficiently.

CCNY Tech offers small businesses in Upstate New York ways to be proactive with their security measures while being on-call to handle technical issues that come up. Contact a specialist at 315-724-2209 and ask about the exclusive TechAgent program that has been built around helping SMBs to increase uptime while staying within budget.


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