As an IT Auditor and IT Security consultant I was amazed by the lack of importance they gave to passwords on their work computers, laptops, or phones. I think people underestimate the risks of not protecting information and having a strong password. I see how many decide to use simple passwords and a set of other things that might get you in trouble if someone ever wants to go into your accounts. For those of you that still feel that you need some tips on creating better passwords, here are a few tips:
Don’t use Names
I see how some people use the name of their kids, blog, or even the same letters included in their email address to create a password. Most software is created to break a password that starts with a name and or simple words. If you use a simple word or name as a password, your email or work account will be compromised.
Your password should be made up of letters, lower case, upper case, lower case, numbers, and special characters. You can create a strong password with tools like strongpasswordgenerator.com
Change Your Password
I change my passwords and those of the accounts of my clients pretty often. Don’t share how often you change them. I would say a good practice is every 90 days. Set a reminder so that you don’t forget to change them.
Don’t Use the Same Password Everywhere
Some sites will take your password and are able to read them across other sites. Make sure that the passwords you use for your emails, twitter, facebook, and bank accounts are very different from those you use on unknown third party sites. Have a password for social sites, another one for your email and yet another for your bank accounts. This will decrease the risk of someone tapping into your other accounts if they where able to find one.
Always take a look at where you enter your password
If you see a new site pop up and ask for you to register with email and password always do some research and see why they are asking you to register. I stay away from most of those sites.
Beware of Phishing
Similar to the one above, you might have sites set up to look like a legitimate website (your banks online site). You might be entering sensitive information for cyber criminals to access at any given moment. If you get an email requesting you to change your password, make sure it is a legitimate communication from the organization that is requesting you to do so. We will cover phishing in more detail in a future post feel free to subscribe to get our articles via email)
Use a tool to remind you of some of the passwords
There are a few tools and software on your smart phones or online that you might be able to keep track of all your passwords. Please never write down your password and slip it under the keyboard or desk.
Never send your password via email
Some people send their passwords via email to themselves. Never send your password via email.
Never share your password
One of the things I see the most is how adults share there passwords with others. If there is a need for someone to have access to an applications there are various ways of giving access in most occasions without losing control of your password.
These tips are key for adults to know but more importantly to pass along this knowledge to our kids. A good example is the one of not sharing passwords since we all have heard of stories of other kids doing very terrible things to each other via social networks. Most parents grew up in a world where pranks where offline and they could only reach the people in close proximity. We live in a different world now and it is key for our kids to have a way to protect themselves from the threats the hyper connected world can bring?
Where these tips useful? Any questions on them?
Any more tips you want us to add to this list and future posts?