We use passwords for everything. Our email, social media, bank accounts, and many other online platforms require passwords for access. Since passwords are needed for so many things, many people choose to go with easy-to-remember passwords, or use one password for everything. While it may be convenient to not have to memorize a bunch of passwords or forget the composition of a complex one, you are essentially leaving all your personal information out in the open if you create weak passwords. A recent article from smallbusiness.com gives some basic do’s and don’ts for password creation as well as addresses the issue of forgetting your complex password.
Here are some of those items:
- Don’t use a simple pattern. Example: “qwertyuiop” or “asdfghjk”
- Don’t use a favorite sports team. If you must, substitute characters for letters.
- Use your birthyear at the end of a phrase but don’t use it alone.
- Never use your children’s names.
- Don’t use swear words and phrases, hobbies, famous athletes, car brands, or movie names.
What you should be doing is ensuring that:
- All passwords have at least eight characters or more and contain a mix of character types.
- Your password is changed often…at least once a month for bank and other financial related logins or that it is adequately complex using a password tool.
An easy trick to create unique, strong passwords, is to come up with a phrase that you will remember such as “I eat 4 tacos for lunch daily.” You can take the first letter from each word in the phrase, turn the “four” into a number, and you have your base password: ie4tfld. Then, to create unique passwords for your different accounts, use the first and last letters of the account you are signing into and insert them in the beginning and end of the base password. Capitalize the first or last letter and you have a strong, unique password for every site. For example, your password for your Netflix account would be nie4tfldX, and your password for your Hulu account would be Hie4tfldu.
As always, OptfinITy is here to answer any questions regarding technology for your business or organization. If you have any doubts about password strength or protection don’t hesitate to give us a call at 703-790-0400, or visit us on our website at www.optfinity.com.