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Password and Passphrase Tips for Your Dental Practice

With dental practices storing more protected health information online, it's important that you understand cyber security, including passwords and passphrases.

How do I create a strong password or passphrase? Where should I keep a list of my passwords? Should I use a passphrase instead of a password? What exactly is a passphrase?

These are a few questions that may come to mind when logging into online accounts. With dental practices storing more protected health information online, it’s important to understand cyber security, including passwords and passphrases.

To help protect you and your dental practice from a data breach, as well as the costs and implications it can have for your practice, reputation and professional license, consider these password and passphrase tips from Microsoft and Krebs on Security:

Password Tips

  • A strong password contains: at least 8 characters, uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols
  • Passwords and passphrases should not contain your user name, real name or company name
  • Passwords should not be the name of your children, pet or spouse
  • Avoid using adjacent keyboard combinations such as “qwerty” or “123456”
  • Update passwords regularly and make sure that new passwords are different from previous ones

Passphrase Tips

  • A passphrase is typically a phrase that is 20 to 30 characters in length
  • Passphrases should not contain common literature or music phrases
  • Update passphrases regularly and make sure new passphrases are different from previous ones

Remembering Passwords and Passphrases

  • Create an acronym for easy to remember information
  • If you write down your password or passphrase, do not keep it in plain sight or on your computer

In addition to strong passwords and passphrases, Network security and privacy proceeding coverage is important for a dental practice. PSIC includes this coverage in its dental professional liability policy. For more information, please contact a PSIC representative. 

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