You would be amazed the amount of times we have come across a compromised mailbox or website because of weak passwords. An opportunist will gain access to your mailbox to send spam , or your website to upload dangerous scripts for Denial of Service (DOS) attacks or upload an entire sub-site for Phising.
These kind of breaches are dangerous for your domains on-line reputation for a number of reasons:
- Your domain might be blacklisted as a source of spam.
If your domain is blacklisted as a source of spam attacks you may not be aware for days or weeks. In most cases you will receive a bounce-back from the recipients mail server telling you that your mail could not be delivered. Read this carefully as it should give you steps to correct the problem, or at least point you in the right direction.If the spam outbreak is not stopped, you will just be blacklisted again and it will become more difficult to correct if this happens multiple times. In some cases there is a removal fee involved.
- Your website could be listed by Google as an attack site.
This is really something you don’t want to happen as it can be an ordeal to correct. Again , you need to fix the problem before you can correct the listing. This involves firstly locating and removing the suspicious files or infected code from your website and then contacting the search engine provider , in this case Google ,and asking them to remove the listing. They have a procedure for this which involves registering a Webmaster Tools account.
- It can damage your business reputation..
The last thing you want a potential customer to see when they visit your website is a big red warning screen or to receive spam from one of your employees mailboxes.
At the end of the day its your responsibility to ensure that all your passwords are secure and in some cases , changing them every couple of months is not a bad idea either. Some tips below might help.
– Avoid using dictionary words e.g piano123
– Avoid storing your passwords in an unencrypted file on your computer e.g a txt file or email.
– Use a combination of upper and lower case letters and numbers when creating a password.
– Think of something easy for you to remember but difficult for someone else to guess e.g a combination of 2 words and numbers . One word could be the first 3 letters of child’s name and last 4 letters of your sibling’s name with a birth-year at beginning and last two digits of a phone number at the end.
– Use a program like Keepass to store your passwords securely.