Over the years that I’ve been managing IT for small to medium businesses one thing is common. Passwords. No matter how far I go or what industry I am looking after, one thing is common. Passwords. I am horrified on how many passwords that I see or get told that are password or their username or qwerty or 1234.
Passwords WERE designed to be put in place to secure a system, so why use a password at all if it’s going to be password.
In this age where everything is computerized – why use such a simple password to protect your identity/work/banking etc.
The most common defence I see is ‘it’s easy to remember’ or ‘long passwords are too hard to remember’. I don’t see it being hard to remember something 10 charactors long, it dose not have to be completely random (and I don’t recommend it to be, as im generally the one resetting it once you forget) but make it as long and complex as possible.
Use capitals, lowercase numbers and symbols. Some good examples of good passwords could include
– Parts of old phone numbers
– Parts of favrouite restaurants, places, citys
– Part of your work’s occupation
You could have a password of a recent trip or goal for example 2012.Italy or you could do 2013!NOSMoking Using goals could also increase your likelihood of reaching them if your writing them every day.
Try to use different passwords for different things, to mitigate a personal attack on you (for example, ex partner/ex employee if they know your password for your email, they may try it for your banking etc.) Strong passwords and Multiple passwords will mitigate your risk here.
Everywhere possible I will enforce at least some of the following policy’s to make sure the users that I look after are secure
Minimum complexity (not ‘password’ or not the users name)
Character complexity (minimum of 3 out of the 4 following – upper case, lower case, number, special character).
To Test your password I would recommend going to http://www.howsecureismypassword.net/
And testing your password, remember never enter your exact password into this site, use the same complexity though (eg. If your password is NoSmoking2013! Type NoDrinking2010 )
Never type your exact password or release your password to anyone, your password can protect your livelihood. Remember, always, STRONG PASSWORDS.