Not all cyber attacks involve high-tech intrusion methods. Some simply involve hundreds or even thousands of attempts at guessing the right username and password combination. Known as a brute-force attack, it’s a rudimentary but effective method for infiltrating devices, networks and databases. As a business owner, however, you can prevent brute-force attacks by following these five tips.

#1) Create a Long Password

Conventional wisdom should lead you to believe that long passwords are better protected against brute-force attacks than short passwords. If a password only consists of four or five characters, a hacker may guess it with relative easy. Therefore, you should create and use long passwords consisting of at least 10 characters.

#2) Don’t Use ‘Admin’ for Username

Many computers, networks, databases and other password-protected systems use “admin” as the default username for the administrator account. While “admin” is easy to remember, though, you should think twice before using it in your business’s workplace. Hackers know that “admin” is a common username, so they often include it in their brute-force attacks. By switching from “admin” to a different, unique username, you are less likely to experience a brute-force attack.

#3) Include Numbers and Special Characters in Password

A strong password should include more than just letters; it also needs numbers and special characters. Many brute-force attacks rely strictly on letters. As a result, mixing up your passwords to include letters as well as numbers and special characters will lower the risk of a successful attack. Just remember to create complex passwords that consist of more than just letters.

#4) Don’t Reuse Password Elsewhere

Avoid the temptation of using the same password across multiple devices or systems. If you use the same password for your business’s Wi-Fi and its database, a hacker may guess it, after which he or she can affect both your Wi-Fi and database. To prevent this from happening, don’t reuse passwords. If you a specific password for your business’s Wi-Fi, use a different password for your business’s database.

#5) Change Password Every 30 to 60 Days

Finally, you can protect your business’s information technology (IT) infrastructure from brute-force attacks by regularly changing your passwords. A good rule of thumb is to change each password at least once every 30 to 60 days. The longer a password remains in use, the greater the risk of a successful brute-force attack. As long as you change your passwords every 30 to 60 days, however, you’ll maintain a high level of protection against brute-force attacks.

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