Topic for small business staff meeting - Don’t reuse passwords

Business owners can show they care about their employees’ cyber safety outside of office hours as well as at work. Consider sharing cyber safety examples during a staff meeting. October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month and a good time to continue cyber safety conversations with your employees.

Topic for a staff meeting: Don’t reuse passwords

Amazon frequently checks for reused user name and password combinations posted online. They, and other online companies, troll the net to locate potential repositories of stolen names with passwords. They want to reduce exposure to their customers and their networks by eliminating where possible reused names and passwords on their customers’ accounts.

Amazon recently sent out messages to a group of customers, telling them Amazon has reset their password and asks the customers to create new passwords not used on other sites.

It is very easy for cyber criminals to locate user name and password combinations and then try those logins with other online services. They can then make purchases in the name of the original name owner before the original owner changes their login credentials.

What your employees can do

  • If your employee received a message from Amazon asking that the password be change, the employee should do so as soon as possible.

  • If the employee sees unauthorized activity on his/her account, he/she should contact Amazon Help Center immediately.

  • All employees should review their online accounts to ensure they are not reusing passwords on any accounts. If they are, they should change each password immediately so it is a unique password.

  • Employees should consider a password manager application. These applications operate with one master password and then either retain a list of user defined passwords or can generate passwords for accounts.

Generally, when businesses engage their employees in cyber security awareness for their personal life, the good cyber security behavior is applied to their work life as well.

About the author

Carolyn Schrader is a seasoned cybersecurity professional and founder of the Cyber Security Group Inc., providing corporate cybersecurity services to high profile clients.

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