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What is a password?

A password is a security mechanism used to secure sensitive information and accounts.

Why are they so important?

Passwords are absolutely critical because they are often the least secure aspect of any overall security setup. Hackers will often attack down “the path of least resistance” – meaning before they try any technical skulduggery, they’ll generally just try out a series of common passwords.

How so?

Let’s say your email address is publically available on your LinkedIn account. Hackers could take that, and then try to log in using it with a series of guessed passwords. Even if your email address wasn’t publically available, smart hackers would take your name, your business, and combine them. Joebloggs@mybusiness.com for example, and if Joe Bloggs has a password of “qwerty123” then it will take a hacker all of a few seconds to gain access to Joe’s account.

Is it really that simple?

Absolutely. Passwords like “qwerty123” and “password01” will present hackers and their tools with as little as a few seconds work to crack, at which point they can chuckle, and help themselves to your data.

Are passwords as big a deal as everyone make them out to be?

Yes. You can have the most complex and comprehensive IT security setup in the world, but it will all be for nothing if you have a poor password.

I've got a strong password, but I'm not sure about my employees/colleagues...

A password policy is a great way of ensuring that your business follows a set of rules for the creation and maintenance of good passwords and good password practice. It can be centrally administered from your servers, managed by third-party software, or stipulated in employee contracts.

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