Passwords are the first line of defense against personal identity theft or a security breach within your organization. So why is it that most people do not give passwords the time they deserve? Sure, coming up with a secure, original password can take a few minutes but that’s better than hours, days, weeks, months or even years of dealing with security, banking or legal issues.
From online banking to customer data to HR documents, it seems there’s a login for just about every aspect of our day-to-day lives. As you set up each account (or go back and secure passwords), your IT guy would like you to remember a few password points:
- “123456” and “password” are not legitimate passwords.
- The biggest password security issue is laziness. Even if you aren’t feeling like coming up with a unique password that’s completely detached from you, take a phrase you’ll remember and make it all one (with capitals) like “MyGmaMavis2015.”
- You don’t have to be locked into just letters. Capital letters, numbers, symbols will strengthen your passwords security. Consider using a $ instead of an S or 4 instead of an A.
- Length does matter. With the ever-growing hacker technology, a five-character password only takes about 5 seconds to crack. Now, an eight-character password could take days, even weeks.
- Do not use just one password across all sites that you use. Switch it up. If someone figures it out for one site, they will try it on others.
- Do not save a list of all of your passwords as a memo on your laptop, tablet, or mobile. If any of those devices fall into the wrong hands, that person will have access to everything. (So while you’re at it — don’t forget to have a passcode on your mobile.)
- And please, do not put your passwords on a Post-it note and stick it to your screen or hide it under your keyboard.
- A password management software, like LastPass, will help you ensure your passwords are strong, updated and secure. You only have to remember one password to access all your passwords.
It’s important to keep the hackers on their toes by elongating and strengthening those passwords. So when you submit to the IT service desk for a password reset, make it a good one.