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How To Create A Strong Password

Thursday, July 30, 2015   By Mike Reddy


If you are like most small business owners, thinking about passwords may make your head want to spin. They are cumbersome to create, difficult to remember and a huge pain to deal with when forgotten.

But they protect everything you have worked for and therefore demand strength!

With recent news highlighting hack after hack, it is more important then ever to do the simple things you can to protect yourself and your business from security breeches.

One of the biggest deterrents for customers (in particular with online business) is the lack of safety that can be provided once they have passed on personal information. It should remain one of your top priorities to offer as foolproof a system as you can, starting with a strong password.

So what makes a strong password? Let’s ask the tech experts…
  1. 1.   12 or more characters.
  2. 2.   A mix of both lower and upper case letters.
  3. 3.   At least one number.
  4. 4.   At least one symbol.

These guidelines seem to appear on almost every tech or security specialist’s list of qualities that make a strong password.

The other most widely agreed upon piece of advice? Do NOT use the same password for everything. Do I need to explain this one?

Seems like a lot to remember.

For those that seem to struggle all these various rules, my business coaching tip is to keep your sequencing the same, but change up the symbols, numbers and words.

For example, always starting with a capital letter, ending with a symbol and include a number in between two words, like so: Small3business$.

This can allow you to build uniformity among passwords, without disregarding the importance of being unique.

Another great suggestion is creating a password out of a sentence:

Sentence: Today is sunny, with a high of 83.
Password: 2daySunny@highof83

I know, here in Australia that’s a warm day, but you get my drift.

Once again, there is an app for that! Password managers like Keypass, Dashlane and Last Pass are commonly used.

Mike Reddy is a Chartered Accountant, business coach and advisor helping businesses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast to easily increase their profits and cash flow. He is currently President of the North Sydney Chamber of Commerce, a Regional Councillor for Sydney North East and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Sydney leadership team. As well as advising businesses, Mike presents business development seminars and webinars and is regularly contacted by the media to comment on small business matters. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.