That is a headline we hope to never see but it outlines the importance of password security. For a good many of us passwords get in the way of productivity. To the evil doers, your password is an invisible digital fence that stands between your personal and professional fingerprint data.
Passwords aren’t just a necessary evil, they do a lot for us. They protect our privacy from unwanted intrusion and theft. They are our digital security blanket.
Not all passwords are created equal. Just like all doors are not created equal. You probably think: Who would want to read my email or access my facebook? I have nothing important here. The answer might surprise you and it might not just be one account but a combination of.
So what can you do to protect yourself?
Use a complex password.
Minimum 8 characters. No dictionary words, with numbers or punctuation or unique characters utilized.
Phrases work really well and are easier to remember. People are afraid of this option until they realize the benefits below:
- The longer the password the harder it is to guess or crack (you can go as long as 6 month with this pick)
- They can be phrases that are easy to remember but impossible to crack like: yycflamesforthecup# or iluvbutterflies$ or even “fridaysaresofun”
- When you are ready to change the password, you simply have a new mantra for that 6 months
The longer the password is ‘in the ether’ and in use, the greater the risk potential of breach. This is why changing it is so important.
Never... Tell someone your password or give it out by email, phone or fax. If a legitimate colleague needs to use it and you approve, offer to type it in for them and then obstruct their view while doing so. Then supervise a nd log out when finished.
No... Legitimate source will ever ask for a sensitive password by email
Group Passwords... in a group privilege environment can happen if proper safe guards and your policy clearly defines user roles and access.
Always... change your password according to your established company policy
Change... If your password is a dictionary word like these common passwords: password, auburn, your name, monkey, football, love, god, query, company name, etc.
Always... Be familiar with and follow your company’s password policy.
Check out this video with Edward Snowden for tips on how to create secure passwords.