QuickBooks Passwords Guide: How to Create a Strong QuickBooks Password
It seems that we are bombarded with the same refrain over and over again: to create strong passwords! Unfortunately, there is no standard definition for what exactly makes a password “strong.” There is no specific formula for creating the perfect password, but there are a lot of guidelines that can help you make your passwords as strong as possible.
What it comes down to is making your password complex enough that a criminal cannot guess or hack your password. Criminals use any information they have on you to guess your password. This would include information such as your first and last name, date of birth, mother’s name, father’s name, child’s name, pet’s name, your favorite sports team, the last four digits of your Social Security number, and the list goes on and on.
When guessing doesn’t work, which it does more often than you would think, criminals have another tool up their sleeve: the Brute Force Attack. The Brute Force Attack is malicious software that systematically attempts all possible combinations of characters until the correct password is found. The longer and more complex your password is, the harder it will be for a Brute Force Attack to find your password. These Brute Force Attacks can be modified to be more intelligent by directing the software to check commonly used words, letter combinations and even entire dictionaries.
Therefore, a strong password really depends on what tools a hacker is using against you. Since you have no idea what tools and methods will be used against your password, it is best to make your password as complex as you reasonably can.
The following tips will provide some guidance on how to make your password “strong:”
- Your password should contain at a minimum of 8 characters; however, the longer you make the password, the harder it will be to crack. A 25-character password will generally be many times harder to crack than a 6-character password.
- To increase complexity of your password, be sure to use as many different types of characters as you can. This includes upper case letters (ABC), lower case letters (abc), numbers (142) and special characters (%#$@!*&).
- Do not use real words, as hacking software will often quickly detect whole words if the software is preloaded with multiple dictionaries of different words to search.
- Do not use a family members’ name or pet’s name, nickname, phone number, birth date or anything else that a criminal could learn about you from your social media profiles or an Internet search.
- If you have trouble remembering long passwords, you can transform an easily remembered sentence into a useful password. So the sentence, “I love soccer,” could become “iL0\/35o((3r.”
- Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.
- If there is only one capital letter or special character, it should not be the first or last character in the password.
There are many ways a criminal can compromise your passwords; however, most will begin using these methods. In this computer era, it is often the case that the only thing standing between a criminal and your sensitive information is your password. It is one of the few free security measures we are offered on any account; so, be sure to get the most out of it.