Finance News & Insights

A perfect password checklist

You want your finance PCs harder to get into than Fort Knox. But are your people’s passwords leaving the door wide open?

Remember the days when you were given a single password and it was yours … as long as you worked at the company? Maybe it was even the easy-to-remember 12345.

Ah, the vulnerable old days! Now staffers in departments with super-sensitive info, like Finance, need to log off for every trip to the restroom.

But even if your folks are good at logging on and off to keep prying eyes from sneaking a peak, your company could still be exposed if the passwords they create are too easy to crack.

Here’s the profile of a perfect password. According to Microsoft, it:

  • Has at least 7 characters
  • Has no more than 14 characters (certain systems won’t run with more than that)
  • Doesn’t contain any of the following: the employee’s name or your company’s name
  • Isn’t any word contained in the dictionary
  • Is not your user name
  • Doesn’t resemble any of your previous passwords, and
  • Contains at least one of each of these types of characters: Uppercase letters: A,B,C; lowercase letters: a,b,c; numbers: 1,2,3; and non-keyboard symbols: &,#,$

So aPP!3j>x would be a great password if your favorite childhood cereal was Applejacks. You have a trigger to help you remember it, but the word is virtually unrecognizable.

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