Password Strength – More Important Than You Think in a Dental Office

fwL4E21kZJ3UIv3ENAL3x_n1gkk8uc_JyUjj9nqcxPgA password is an account’s first line of defense against hackers. Without a strong password, hackers may be able to breach your accounts’ security and access sensitive information vital to your dental practice that they can use for their own personal gain. Unfortunately, few people realize just how important the strength of passwords can be. In fact, according to Password Genie, although the average person visits 25 password-protected sites, most people use only six different passwords, and 73 percent of people use the same password for every site.

Understanding Hackable Passwords

Studies have shown that some passwords are inherently weaker than others. The easier your passwords are to guess or remember, the easier they are to crack. According to Imperva, shorter passwords and passwords that use only one type of character are the most vulnerable to attacks from hackers.

Imperva also reports that as many as 60 percent of users choose passwords that contain only letters and numbers, and up to one-third of users have passwords containing six characters or less. Studies also show that certain common passwords are hacked more frequently than others. These passwords include predictable phrases like “123456,” “password” and “iloveyou.” Using any of these phrases for your dental practice account passwords increases the risk of a breach.

Important Statistics

Even if a password isn’t easy to guess, it may still be vulnerable. Password Genie reports that a computer program can crack a 6-character password that used only lower case letters in as little as ten minutes, regardless of the letter combination. Likewise, a 7-character password with both upper and lower case letters would take 23 days to crack. On the other hand, a 9-character password that includes uppercase letters, lowercase letters and numbers or symbols would take 44,530 years to crack using an automated computer program.

Based on the evidence, it is clear that the strength of passwords is extremely important. Hackers often use computer programs to discover passwords, so simply creating a password that is difficult for a human to guess isn’t enough to protect your accounts. To prevent breaches, passwords should contain a combination of uppercase letters, lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Passwords of at least eight characters are also recommended.