AVG Security Tips: What Makes a Good Password

AVG, a global leader in security technology, provides tips for small business owners on securing their data.

Security KeyboardIt's a sad fact, but many businesses don't take passwords seriously enough. You could almost write a comedy sketch about the 'obvious' passwords that so many people use. Unfortunately, using the name of your first pet or school, your birth date or your mother's maiden name is not smart either as this information is often favored by banks as a means of identifying you.

To protect your business, it is important to draw a distinction between a casually used password that might for example let you view an online item, to that of your business’s online banking password or your business networks, which should be ultra-robust and definitely not the same as the one you use to access social networking sites.

Steps to password perfection:
1. Don't use cardinal numbers in order: 1,2,3,4,5 etc.
2. Think illogically, computers rely on logic to operate.
3. Be obtuse, think outside the box, invent a new word!
4. Never use your mother's maiden name or any password that your bank might use.
5. Mix keyboard characters such as the asterisk with letters and numbers.
6. Use a mixture of CAPS and lowercase letters.
7. Always change default passwords from 'password' or 'admin'
8. Very importantly, NEVER tick the ‘remember this password’ box.
Finally, we are not saying that "FUCHSIAarmaDillo5918!*" is not the best password you'll ever come up with, but it's certainly going to help protect your business if you think along these lines.

What Makes a Good Password?
February 2011
AVG Security Tips

Have a question about passwords? Connect with a SCORE mentor online or in your community today!

About the Author

AVG LogoAVG is uniquely positioned to spearhead innovation in the industry thanks to its employing some of the world’s leading experts in software development, threat detection, threat prevention and risk analysis. Not content to rest on its internationally recognized success, AVG continues to invest in R&D, teaming with leading universities to maintain its technological edge.