Secure Passwords are Easy to Implement, but Too Often Overlooked
Ask the average person how many user names and passwords they have for various accounts, subscriptions, etc., and they’ll likely have to think for several moments before coming up with an answer. Even then they may omit a few of them unintentionally; such is the nature of modern life, where digital accounts are abundant and password protection is a standard.
Many, however, continuously re-use the same or similar user names and passwords for multiple accounts and base them on easy-to-crack phrases or numbers, such as birthdays, addresses, etc. While this is likely never a good idea, in a hosting environment it can lead to disaster.
Because websites are often the catalyst for an online business’s success, the web server is an integral part of the business as well. Properly protecting hosting accounts with secure passwords is also extremely important. Several of the most popular methods that site administrators use to access a server are FTP, SSH and Control Panel software.
In all instances, an easy-to-crack password could result in dire consequences which include – but are certainly not limited to – the following:
- Unauthorized access to account data or sensitive financial dat
- Lawsuits and liability resulting from improper user data protection
- Shutting down or “hijacking” of the server and websites
- Use of the site to send unsolicited, bulk e-mail (spam)
- Use of the site to distribute spyware, viruses and trojan horses
- Short to long-term loss of business due to site downtim
- Loss of business credibility due to improper data protection
The best way to avoid such problems is to simply employ a reasonable password creation and maintenance policy. Follow these steps and you should be well-protected:
- Change your password monthly and ensure that your employees do as well
- Limit password-protected access only to those who truly require access
- Avoid using passwords that are based on birthdays, addresses, etc.
- Use a variety of characters in passwords, including non alpha-numeric characters
Take those simple steps and you will likely save your company a great deal of trouble in the future.