REALITY CHECK: HOW TO MAKE STRONG PASSWORDS THAT YOU CAN REMEMBER
In today’s technology-dependent world, the indelible password has become the bane of our existence. The average person has 19 passwords across the World Wide Web, according to a Naked Security study. More than a third of respondents said they have trouble recalling strong passwords, and nearly half of respondents in a recent study said they use unsafe passwords, such as notable dates or the names of their pets. Passwords are important. They ensure the security of data – that of yours and your clients. There are people and technology that work hard to steal the information your passwords protect.
So it’s important to come up with strong passwords to deter those vagrants.
SECURITY GURUS RECOMMEND THESE TIPS
FOR COMING UP WITH PASSWORDS: LONGER IS BETTER
Should be between six and nine characters long Use UPPER- and lowercase letters
reuse a password
1nclude numb3rs 0r punctuation marks!” Include+special_characters* mY * B b R 5 _ P a S 5 w 0 r d = t H ! s ?
Come up with something you can remember, but would be difficult for someone else to guess.
Do not use personal information
(names of spouse, kids, pets; birthdates; addresses, etc.)
Change your passwords regularly
“remember password” on your computer
SO HOW DO YOU DO THAT TIMES A DAY AND AVOID HAVING TO GO THROUGH THE “FORGOT MY PASSWORD” PROCESS 19 TIMES?
Mnemonics. A sentence or phrase you can recall,
then abbreviate and combine in unique ways. Relate the phrase to the site you’re accessing.
Example: Facebook blue is my favorite color. FBblueMy#1c0lor!
String together random words. Try to relate it to the site you’re accessing to help with recall.
Example for a Twitter account: Tw1tt3rTwe@t$
PAO (Person, Action, Object) Method.
Picture an image of a place, a person and a random action that relates to the two. Example for work email: picture your desk, your boss and a clock ticking to make WerkBob15minsTilbreak?
Use a password manager. Password managers
help create strong passwords and remember them for you. You’ll only need to create – and remember – one good password. Good examples are LastPass, KeePass (an open source manager) or 1Password.
Run your passwords through a checker, HowSecureIsMyPassword? or PasswordChecker.
NOW FOR A REALITY CHECK ON
PASSWORD MANAGEMENT. You want your data to be safe and secure, but you are also a realist when it comes to your memory recall for the sites and programs you access every day.
What can you do – REALLY – to be safe and efficient?
Here are some ideas: Be selective on when to change passwords and reusing them. Think about where security really matters – your bank account, email, social media – and spend your creative password efforts here. Change these passwords regularly (at least every quarter). Where it’s less important – accessing your favorite recipes or that free woodworking magazine – let those passwords ride unless you think you’ve been compromised.
Write passwords down, but store them in a secure location. NOT on your desktop or on a sticky note on your monitor. Put them in a locked desk drawer, file cabinet or a safe. Opt for the two-factor authentication where you can.