We live in the age of security breaches and hacking scandals.  Even companies as big as Sony or Target are not invincible to them. As a small business owner, a breach in the system could cost you a tremendous amount of time, money, and resources. While hacking is not 100% preventable, it can easily be avoided with the creation of strong, unique passwords. Here are our top 5 tips for creating sound, difficult to hack passwords.

The longer, the better.

  • Most websites require a minimum of 8 characters but we suggest creating even longer passwords. Longer passwords are more secure and are harder to hack.

Randomize instead of using real words.

  • Instead of using real words, use a mix of random upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. These are much harder for hackers to anticipate. Hackers are pros at using patterns to crack your passwords. Never use birth dates, names, or personal information in your passwords.

Use only the first letters of words in sentence.

  • If you want to create an easy to remember but hard to hack password, use a sentence you will easily remember but only use the first letter of each word. For example “My great aunt lives on 325 North Barton Rd” becomes “MgaLo325NBR”.

Create password by creating an “odd” sentence.

  • Creating a password using an unusual or funny sentence is a great way to make an easy to remember password that is hard to hack. Make sure that the sentence is nonsensical and would be hard for a hacker to crack. An example of this is “Cow Went to Mars” or “CowWentTOMArs25”.

Create multiple passwords.

  • Another way dramatically reduce your chances of getting hacked is to create multiple. Complex passwords for each business account. Never use the same password twice! That way, if one account is hacked, the other accounts be at less risk to be hacked as well.