Pay attention to passwords Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, May 25, 2021 04:00 AM

At ALCC’s recent webinar on cybersecurity, expert Carlin Dornbusch reviewed some of the online security threats facing small businesses. Several high-profile data breaches and hacks have underscored the need for all of us to take cybersecurity very seriously.

One topic discussed at the webinar was password security. Having strong passwords for things like your computers, online accounts like payroll and invoicing, and smart office features is the first line of defense in keeping your data and equipment safe.

We’ve got some tips for creating strong passwords:

  • Don’t be obvious. Passwords like password or sequential numbers like 12345678 are easily compromised.
  • Go long. It may seem inconvenient, but 12- to 15-character passwords are more secure. Memorizing a long password is more convenient than rebuilding your server after a hacker gains access.
  • Mix it up. The standard combo of a capital letter followed by lowercase letters and followed by numbers is predictable and more easily deciphered. Try a combination of capital, lowercase, numbers, and even special characters if allowed. For example Landscape846 is less secure than poK4e8MAn5
  • Avoid personal words or common words. For your business, landscape is an easy word to guess—skip it. If a scammer gains access to your personal information, they could also use your mother’s maiden name or your first pet’s name.
  • Keep it a secret. If you need to write down a password, don’t keep it near the device that uses it. Store that piece of paper in a lockbox or other secure location.
  • Change it regularly. Ask your staff to change passwords quarterly for extra security. But don’t cycle through them or reuse them. Be sure they are entirely new passwords, not slight variations on a previous password.

There are also password keys and password managers that can generate and store secure passwords for you. Ask your IT professional about the most reliable, secure product for your company.

Be sure that your staff is educated on password security as well. It only takes one weak password to make your entire system vulnerable to hacks.

The Federal Trade Commission and other government agencies have a wealth of resources for individuals and small businesses to help them keep their online data safe.

Purchase ALCC’s Cybersecurity webinar for on-demand viewing at

Read more in this issue of Colorado Green NOW:
Supplemental H-2B visas released, with restrictions
Selling sustainability to consumers
Sustainability: What's in it for consumers? [Infographic]
POLL: Are you interested in EV work trucks?