The Perfect Password: 5 Easy Tips

A combination padlock sitting on a PC keyboard

This year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month has been a stellar one. The theme of the event’s final week is “Cybersecurity First,” which asks us how we can prioritize our organizations’ security and what that would look like across various industries. The biggest takeaway from Cybersecurity Awareness Month has been how we can protect our data—and our clients’ data—more efficiently. The best way you can put cybersecurity first is by developing strong passwords and better security habits. Your passwords are your first and best defense against threat actors. Here are some tips to up your game that you can implement today!

1) Status: It is Complicated

Think of your favorite heist movie. For this piece, we are thinking of The Italian Job. In it, Charlize Theron plays the team’s safecracker. She used several tools and skills to guess the combination to the safe, switching and turning the dial until she found the right sequence of numbers to get inside. Our passwords are like the combination on a safe. The more complicated the combination, the longer it will take Charlize Theron to get in, or in this case, a threat actor. Check out the chart below.

A chart displaying password cracking times based on password strength and characteristics
It looks like a lot, but we are here to break it all down for you!

A simple password may be easy to remember, but it also shortens the time it takes to guess the right “combination.” If you can use more than just numbers, such as varying letter cases and characters, it will take longer for threat actors to crack the code. So, that is your first tip: keep it complicated, not simple.

2) Case by Case

If you find it hard to keep track of numbers for your passwords, consider using upper- and lowercase letters. This is not a foolproof plan, but it can make the threat actors’ efforts more challenging. Regardless, you should update your passwords regularly. Just a heads up: relying on upper- and lowercase letters alone may require you to do so more often.Hand opening an office or home safe, by operating the locking dial. Shallow depth of field.

3) The Numbers Do Not Lie

If you have started adding upper- and lowercase letters to your passwords, rethink how you can use numbers, too. Try to avoid any numbers that are important to you, like adding your birthday or an anniversary at the end of your password.

4) A Character’s Good Reputation

Now that you have a few security boosters in your passwords, consider using more characters, such as @, #, $, %, !, and more. They are all waiting at the top of your keyboard to add an extra layer of defense to your passwords. Special characters are powerhouses when it comes to building strong passwords.

Man opens safe depository of valuables and money in his home. Keep the money in the safe at home. Safe, hand close-up5) Phrasing!

Finally, bring all these strategies together. You can use any combination of letter cases, numbers, and special characters to spell out one word, or you can get really creative and create a “passphrase.” A passphrase is a short sentence comprised of all the elements covered above. Phrases such as [email protected] or j0G1m!le are examples of passphrases. They can be reminders, goals, or items from your to-do list. While passphrases stand above the rest, make sure they are not too obvious or relevant to your personal life, such as specific hobbies, favorite movies, or loved ones.

You Have Cracked the Password Code!

By creating strong passwords, you are going the extra mile to put cybersecurity best practices first. The more complicated the better—just make sure you leave no physical reminders behind, and that you update your passwords regularly. Multi-factor authentication (or MFA) is another excellent feature you can apply to your devices. When you start implementing safe and modern password best practices into your day-to-day life, you protect your organization, your data, and yourself!

You can learn more about cybersecurity practices and management by checking out our own Cybersecurity Security Awareness Program! 

Countdown to Cybersecurity Awareness Month: 4 Easy Ways to Do Your Part!

White padlock graphic on a smartphone's purple background face up on a yellow surface

In a few weeks, we’ll be saying “goodbye” to September and “hello” to October. The green leaves will start to change red, yellow, orange, and brown. The air will become brisk and cool, perfect for boots and sweaters ready to leap out of storage. October can also be a spooky time of year, full of ghouls, ghosts, and critters going bump in the night. Strangely, these creatures can be heard calling for treats or threatening you with tricks if you don’t comply! Best to have full-size Snickers bars on hand, just to be on the safe side.

It’s also important to stay on the safe side in our professional lives. While fending off tricks with or demanding tasty treats may not seem like cybersecurity, the idea has some merit. We can use different safeguards and tools to ward off “tricks” that any number of cyber threat actors might employ.

While you gear up for the spookiest time of year, allow us to add another event to your calendar.
CISA emblem; white eagle on blue background with blue shield that says CISA (cybersecurity & infrastructure security agency)

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and celebrating its 18th anniversary this year! The National Cyber Security Alliance and the US Department of Homeland Security launched Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October 2004 to help Americans learn safer habits and better safeguards online, but it has spread on an international level since then.

In its first year, Cybersecurity Awareness Month encouraged us to update our antivirus software regularly, but these days it has become so much more than that. Each Cybersecurity Awareness Month boasts multiple themes, such as security education, cybercrime, law enforcement, mobility, and critical infrastructure, with a focus on cybersecurity strategies for small and medium-sized business.

This year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month theme is “Do Your Part.” Here are just a few ways you can get ready for Cybersecurity Awareness Month and celebrate all month long:


  • The first thing you can do is head over to for more information on the event and its themes. Whether you’re a veteran of Cybersecurity Awareness Month or this is your first year checking out the program, there are tons of resources and events at your disposal, including weekly themes, keynote speakers,Padlock resting on a keyboard encircled by blue, red, and green graphics
  • You can plan an event of your own, like setting up a newsletter or weekly email that
    explores each weekly theme. Use these themes as launching points for awareness during team meetings. There are many ways you and your company can get motivated and involved, so choose what works best for you. online events, and more.
  • Take this time to check in with your IT department about safeguards and measures in your own company. Whether or not you’re participating in this year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the event is a great reminder to make sure you know what’s going with your data and your clients’ data.
  • Finally, follow us! We’ll be actively participating this month, posting lots of great content on our social media, including webinars, blogs, and more. So if you haven’t yet, check out our website or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Sometimes, folks like having workout partners when they’re getting in shape, so think of us as your cybersecurity workout buddies.


A partially opened laptop, turned on, with a blue glow on the keyboardCybersecurity is more important than ever.

While many of us saw COVID as a chance to rally and grow in the face of the pandemic, threat actors saw it as an opportunity to exploit new vulnerabilities. As most of us went remote and lived online more than ever, the number of attacks and attempts to access our data skyrocketed. Cybercriminals may have some tricks up their sleeves, but Cybersecurity Awareness Month is here with plenty of treats to keep you, your company, and your clients safe.