All about passwords

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You use passwords to access your data and systems. For example, on your business computer, tablet, or smartphone, but also for your email account, social media, and cloud applications. Of course, you want to keep hackers out. So, make sure you come up with strong passwords and store or remember them in a safe way.

Use strong passwords

Make sure your password is 'strong'. A strong password is hard to guess and difficult for a computer to crack. In addition to regular letters and numbers, a good password also consists of capital letters, punctuation marks, and special characters such as #@&%. You can also use a long sentence, known as a passphrase. These are easier to remember. The longer the sentence, the safer. An example of a good passphrase is: “The Great Red Bookcase Walks 17KM?”.

Safe handling of your passwords

Improper use of a password can result in others gaining access to your personal or business information. Of course, you do not want the competition to copy your customer and financial data, or for a cybercriminal to steal your company data and thereby commit identity theft (in Dutch).

Use a password manager

Create different passwords for different services and devices. This way, if your password becomes known, you avoid all your accounts suddenly being accessible. A password manager can manage your passwords securely and centrally for you. Many password managers generate strong passwords for you themselves. This makes it easy for you, as you do not have to create and remember them yourself.

Password managers: digital safe for your login details

A password manager is a useful tool for creating secure passwords and remembering them for you. It is a digital vault that keeps all your login details safe for you. To open this vault, use one master password or an easy-to-remember passphrase. The advantage is that you only have to remember this password or passphrase. In addition to storing passwords, a password manager can also create secure passwords for you. These passwords are long and consist of a combination of (capital) letters, numbers, and special characters. Some password managers also offer the option to securely store other data, such as notes, address information, email addresses, software licences, and payment information. In many cases, password managers are available as applications for your mobile phone, computer, and web browser.

Securing your password manager

Because a password manager is a vault that contains all your passwords and potentially other important data, it is important that you use a strong and unique master password/passphrase to protect your password manager. Make sure that you remember this password well, write it down (without indicating what it is), and store it safely. Read more tips about strong passwords (in Dutch).

If the master password is lost, you must prove that you are the owner of the vault by, for example, confirming your identity or using a backup email address or recovery function. If this does not work, in some cases you will even be completely excluded from your vault. In addition to using your master password, many password managers also allow you to use two-step verification (in Dutch). Then you do not only use the master password for logging in, but also a login code via, for example, your mobile phone. Or your fingerprint. With two-step verification, or the newer two-factor authentication, you can secure the security of your business applications.

Change your password regularly

If you suspect or are sure that your password has been lost or is known to others, change it immediately. Especially the important passwords that give access to your email and corporate accounts. Be careful not to become too predictable when choosing a new password. For example, do not choose consecutive passwords such as 'jack1', 'jack2', 'jack3' or 'jack', 'jack12', 'jack123', 'jack1234'. And certainly do not use passwords that you use for another service or device.

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