Website security may sound like a complicated topic. It is certainly an in-depth subject with a lot of information to cover. However, you don’t need a cybersecurity degree of years of website security experience to practice good website security. In this article we’re going back to the basics to look at an action step that anyone can take, regardless of cybersecurity skills or knowledge. Creating strong passwords is a simple action that goes a long way towards implementing proactive website security. What makes a strong password? How can website administrators succeed in creating strong passwords?
The more diversity and variety there is in a password, the stronger it will be. There is a mathematical concept that explains why complex passwords are stronger than simple ones. Strong passwords contain over eight characters and include a variety of characters. By including numbers, overcase letters, undercase letters, and special characters (like @ or $), you’ll increase the complexity of your password which will make it harder to crack.
This one might seem obvious but it’s important to use different passwords for different websites. Reusing the same password over and over again makes you particularly vulnerable to hackers. Creating and keeping track of different passwords for various websites may seem difficult but it can be managed. If you’re concerned that you won’t be able to remember all your different passwords, hold on! The next tip may provide some help in this area.
Use a Password Manager
In this day and age, chances are you’ll have a lot of passwords to track. Password manager software like LastPass allows you to securely store your passwords and access them easily. LastPass can be used as a browser extension supported on a number of browsers including Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Firefox. It also has a mobile app. By setting up one ultra-secure “master” password, you can safely store your various passwords in a sort of ‘vault’. Tools like LastPass can also generate strong passwords for you.
Update your passwords
Whether it’s every ninety days, six months, or a year, updating your passwords is a good best practice for website security. It’s recommended that password updates happen at least once a year. In some cases, more frequent updates may be needed but once a year is a good rule of thumb to start with.
Take the first steps toward security
None of the tips listed above are complicated. They’re very basic, in fact. These are just ‘baby steps’ but they are great places to start. Without strong passwords your website will be vulnerable to simple attacks. Developing and managing strong passwords is an easy first step to better web security.
There are tools available to assess the security strength of your WordPress website. If you are interested in learning more about these assessment tools, reach out to the Five More Talents team by opening a help desk ticket.