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Compliance & Tech News

May 2018

Each month we highlight compliance and technology issues that could impact your dealership

Passwords Passwords Passwords!

May 3rd was World Password Day. What did you do to celebrate? We're guessing probably not much?

We all recognize that passwords are important, but we rarely want to spend time thinking about them. Best practices for passwords can seem complicated, but keeping a few basic rules in mind should make it easier for you to create strong passwords:

Simple vs. ComplexPeople often confuse complexity with strength. The more complex a password is, the harder it becomes to memorize. But does it make it safer? A password like “Xi01TzVK?m” is very complex. It’s just 10 characters, but there’s no rhyme or reason, so memorizing it would take effort. On the other hand, there are passphrases that seem too simple, such as “I like ice cream!” The first password seems strong, but the phrase password is actually much stronger because of its length. Simple password phrases are easy to remember and exponentially increase the strength of your passwords. One note though: don’t use famous quotes or song lyrics as these can be identified by hacker software. 

Password Image

Password Management ToolsConsider getting a corporate password management tool for your dealership. Studies show that business users have somewhere between 10 and 200 passwords between their job and personal life. While 10 might be manageable, 200 is definitely too much for a person to handle. To help resolve these types of issues, we all start using patterns to help us remember the passwords, e.g. “I like ice cream”, “I like Ice Cream”, and “I like ice cream too.” Once a pattern forms in your passwords, it becomes very easy to start breaking other passwords. Password Managers allow you to set complex (random) passwords without having to memorize them, and then utilize them when you log into a website, software, or other solution. Be sure to select one that features multi-factor authentication.

Don't Fall Into PatternsSince I’ve already mentioned it, password patterns weaken your passwords the more you use them. If you use “I like ice cream” for your computer login and “I like Ice Cream” for your software login, once a hacker has one of the passwords it takes less than 5 minutes to come up with the other password. If you’ve used the pattern in your other passwords, most of them will be hacked in minutes. 

Remember- there are things you can do to make them more secure. You can use passphrases to make them easier to remember. You can implement a password manager solution. And you can train your employees to break password patterns. If you take these simple steps, you’ll make your data a lot more secure.

We suggest you review password security with your employees on a regular basis, and World Password Day is as good an occasion as any!

If you want to know more about how to protect your dealership call your Dealer Support Specialist at 844-322-9034.

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What are Your Anti-Virus and Malware Solutions?

Every computer you use ProMax on should have anti-virus and malware software installed.  Since every dealership is different, you should figure out what works best for you based on your budget, number of computers, and vendor reputation.  

While we don't recommend any specific software, here are a few places you can research further:

Independent tests of Anti-Virus software

Comparison of Anti-Virus software

Compliance Newsletter Archive

 

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