Password Security - Do This. Don't Do That.
Just hearing the word 'Security' can be enough to send a lot of people running for the hills!
It doesn't have to be that way though and the goal of this post is to arm you with what I think is important but fairly simple information to help you get on top of this important part of modern life. We will start with WHAT NOT TO DO and then take a look at the DO THIS part of the story.
Common Password Security Mistakes
Never Use Personal Information
Not your name backwards, not your youngest child's birthdate or the name of the first goldfish you ever owned.
In this age of transparency, this kind of information is too obvious and using it makes it easier for someone to 'crack you code' and potentially gain access to all your personal information.
Forget about Simple
It's been done and undone a million times.
Strings of numbers like 12345678, or letters like abcdefgh are a big no no.
The most common passwords are often posted online and include 123abc, monkey and letmein. Just don't do it.
Recycling does NOT Apply
Never use your password for more than one location. Work out a system to create good passwords and keep a record of them... not on your computer.
An old-school notebook will do the trick nicely so long as you remember to use it. Don't think that is a problem? Read this report on the millions of passwords hacked and leaked to the world when LinkedIn and others were hacked.
Pathways to Better Passwords
You now now that not only is using ABC123 ineffective, but it's also stupid!
Use a mix of letters and numbers. UPPER and lower case and throw in a few symbols just go keep it pretty to you and unattractive to others
You Will Need A System
Password management is essential. It doesn't have to be complicated but it does have to be agile. I was recommended to have my stuff in more than one place - old school and in the cloud. It's still good advice.
Password Management is now an Industry
You can of course opt for one of the many password management tools available online. Just do a search and you will be greeted with much to choose from.
A little extra information never hurts 🙂
You can also read this extensive article on password security from MacWorld Magazine - the last bit is pitched to mac users but the main thrust of the article is quality information about the What, The Why and The How of password security.
Revisited: This post was first written in 2013. It remains just as valid today as it did then. In fact with the proliferation of places were we need to have a username and password combination, it is more important than ever. I have updated it to keep it valid and useful for you and those you know.
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