[This is a copy of the SHANKX’s weekly newsletter – you can subscribe by using the form on the right-hand side]

If you still store your passwords in a spreadsheet or a simple text file, don’t be embarrassed. You are not alone. We see many people do that with both personal and professional passwords.

Hackers can cause a lot of damage in which case your professional liability policy may deny coverage

When a dishonest person knows your passwords, they have one goal only: Rip off as much money from you and your friends as possible. They will try to log into your bank accounts, ask your contacts for money and find personal information to blackmail you. Don’t let that happen.

Password-protect your files

If you are doing nothing else, protect your spreadsheets and computers with a password. Whether you use Excel or Numbers, google how to protect opening the files with a password. It only takes 5 minutes. Ask us how if you need help.

Don’t use the same passwords over and over again

We all have a tendency to do it, but it’s very bad practice. The first thing a dishonest person is going to try, is check if you used the same password with your e-banking, Facebook, or email account.

Enable two-factor authentication if possible

The idea behind two-factor authentication is that a password alone won’t do it. On top of a password, you will need to enter a second factor to access your account. This often is a code that is texted to your mobile device.

Use encryption to protect your computer and data

When you encrypt the content of your computer, all the data stored gets transposed using a complex mathematical algorithm. This means that even if someone steals data from you, the files are useless unless they have the key that can decrypt the file again. Most operating systems allow you to encrypt your entire machine by default. This is highly recommend.

Let’s wrap up this email by reminding professionals that their liability policies will likely deny coverage if you don’t store your passwords appropriately. Many policies list very specific requirements which can differ depending on the circumstances and nature of your business. SHANKX can help you meet your requirements if you are not sure.

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