“What’s Mom’s Maiden Name?” Password Best Practices

By Stefano Tromba
October 27, 2020

In its annual report on password “strategies”,, a team of security experts and advisors found that topical issues are a dominant feature of passwords. So, it should come as no surprise that many Americans, 14% according to their study, are using COVID-related passwords online.

Another key topic of course, is the upcoming US election. If their study has any bearing on the election’s outcome, we should note that it found that 12% of Americans are using the word “Trump” in passwords while 9% incorporated “Biden”.

Personal information has always been a popular “go-to” when it comes to creating passwords. The report shows that 16% of Americans use their birth year in passwords. Another 16% use a pets’ name.

Best Password Practices

Security experts recommend having strong passwords, that aren’t too short. They should incorporate a mix of numbers, letters, and special characters – which many websites make mandatory. It’s also advised to use two-factor authentication whenever possible. Two-factor authentication may involve a code being texted to your cell phone, or a fingerprint or facial recognition sign-in.

If a website has had a data breach, it is important users change their password immediately. And while it tempting it’s best to not use the same password across sites.

Small Businesses and Cybersecurity

Small businesses are a target for data hacks and other cybercrime. Research shows that 28% of data breaches this year involved small businesses. It’s more important than ever that small businesses get their passwords right. Due to the pandemic, many businesses, have gone to more modern ways of storing data. This includes high tech equipment such as the SMART AC/1 from Fingercheck.

This biometric time clock has a built-in facial recognition scanner and can even detect body temperature. This prevents not only security but safety and health amongst office staff.

Common sense and practicality will always prevail when it comes to keeping your passwords and sensitive info secure. Be sure to change passwords every so often and set up security questions whenever you can to keep you from forgetting them!

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