Has your Dental Office Password Habits Got Better or Worse?

Creating and remembering passwords is an inevitable part of the workings of a dental office. From logging on into the practice system in the morning to tapping your pin code on your tablet or smartphone.

Is creating, remembering, and updating passwords frustrating sometimes - Yes!

Are you practicing good password habits - let’s find out because many of us aren’t!

Did you know that over 8.5 billion passwords were leaked in what was called the RockYou2021 leak back in June of this year? This is not a one-off thing either. Year after year, multiple sites get hacked, and user passwords get leaked. 

But what do you have to fear?

Well, if you have bad password habits, then you might be putting your dental practice in jeopardy.

How Do Passwords Become A Problem?

Passwords have inherent problems. Too often, the passwords are too weak, become very predictable, get reused multiple times, and can be obtained by cybercriminals using coercion techniques.

In the past, our idea of a bad password is one that could  easily be guessed, such as ‘Password1’ or ‘baseball’. . (btw it would take a hacker 1 second to crack these passwords)

The psychology behind it is easy. If you use the same password for your Facebook account with your work login, you are less likely to forget it. The main problem is that if your Facebook password gets compromised, the hackers technically now have access to your work login password - it’s just a matter of time that they realize that. 

And this is quite common too. Over 65% of people use the same password or a variation of the same password for multiple accounts. This becomes even scarier when you find out that 45% of people don't bother to change their password even after becoming victims of a leak.

This means that there is a possibility that more than half of the people in your dental office (including you) might be putting the practice at risk.

So how can you identify bad password practices?

What Are Examples of Bad Password Practices in a Dental Office?

The idea of a password is that it should be something only you would know. Your password is similar to the key of your car. Surely you won't want somebody else to have a copy of your keys.

So let's try to talk about some of the more common lousy password practices that many of us might be guilty about.

  1. Users have formulaic or simple passwords - A lot of dental practices make the mistake of providing employees with "easy" passwords that are too formulaic. Some leaks even reveal that the "name123" is a very common password formula that businesses use. This makes having a password useless as anybody can guess a person's password - even hackers.
  2. Password sharing - Some employees don't put too much effort into keeping their work passwords at times. As a result, they share it more often with co-workers as they don't feel like they have "anything to hide." While this can be attributed to innocent workplace hacks, this can lead to many security problems down the line.
  3. Using the same password for personal and work accounts - Another concern for security experts is that more people are using the same password for multiple accounts. This includes personal and work accounts. This becomes problematic when an employee's passwords get leaked and used to hack their work accounts.

How Can You Make More Secure Pass-codes For Your Dental Firm?

If you ask security experts about a guideline in creating security passcodes, they have the following list we can consider.

1. Using whole common words are easy to crack.

2. Predictable patterns in your passcode makes it easier to crack.

3. Longer codes are harder to crack

4. Randomness makes codes harder to track.

Unfortunately, people are predictable and forget/hate randomization. That is why the idea of using a randomized set of letters and numbers simply can't work for regular people.

Passphrases vs Passwords: What to use?

In a nutshell, a passphrase and a password are similar in that they are both pass-codes. The only difference is that a password is usually a word or two that aims to confuse or misdirect a person trying to log into your account. A passphrase, on the other hand, is an entire phrase, sentence, or statement and can be made up of anywhere from 4 to 10 words.

A passphrase exists as a solution for people who need more secure pass-codes but are not comfortable with opting for randomized letters and numbers. Passphrases work better than passwords because they are much harder to crack for hackers and people can easily remember them.

How To Create a Strong and Memorable Passphrase

So the question now is, how do you make a passphrase that is both strong and memorable? Experts believe that users should consider layers of complexity. Here's a list you can check out.

1. Multiple small words will make the passphrase more complex.

2. Opt to choose words that are not in the top-1000 so it becomes less likely to be auto-cracked.

3. Use numbers and symbols and don't be afraid to mix them up.

4. Length is important but not to the point where it becomes hard to remember.

For starters, you can use memorable statements and replace certain letters with symbols and numbers. Some even recommend a joke you can't seem to get off your head. These are just some of the suggestions that security experts have for dentists who want secure passphrases for their dental firms.

Hackers want your work password because they want to attack your practice data backups

Want to feel more secure with your data? Give Dental Vault's Data Integrity Consultants a call today and ask about our disaster recovery services. With Dental Vault, you can get your dental practice a cost-effective way of keeping both your business and customer data secure.

Book your no-obligation discovery call right now and find out why 750+ dentists all across the country entrust their backups with Dental Vault.

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