A user name and password is still the most common method of controlling access to systems. Utilizing good password practices can make the difference between keeping your information secure and becoming a victim. Here are some important password tips:
1. Choose a password that is easily remembered by you but not easily guessable by others. The password should be a minimum of 8 characters and include at least one letter, number and symbol. Here is a link to a site with comprehensive password guidelines in case you are looking for even more detail and here is my example of a password that fits that criteria – HEN2!blue
2. Do not utilize the same password for all of your activities. I recommend having a standard password for non critical Internet sites and then a separate unique password you utilize for important systems at your home or office.
3. Do not write down your password and leave it in a place that others can see. Many security pros recommend to never write down a password at all but I will be practical and say if you need to write it down keep it locked in an area that only you have access to.
4. Do not disclose your password to others even if they ask for it (whether it be in an email, over the phone or in person). Hacker’s are crafty and often pose as a trusted person in an attempt to get you to lower your guard and give them the information they are looking for (known as social engineering)
5. Be extremely careful of saving your user name and password when given the option especially if you are not the sole user of your PC.
6. If you have advanced security needs or have an excessive number of passwords to remember I recommend utilizing a secure password management software package. Many options exist but two to consider are Roboform Pro and SurfSecret KeyPad. You can likely find some freely available password management software but be sure to read the licensing agreement if you plan on using for your business.
Follow the above steps to keep your passwords secure and help ensure you and your business are protected.