Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Passwords – What Everyone Needs to Know

In today’s telecommunications environment, interconnected around the globe, strong password management is critical.  Just as some people are “streetwise,” everyone needs to be “netwise” – especially with passwords.  Passwords must be private, and complex.  Take these two practical steps to your personal password management.
1.  Don’t share your passwords.  This seems like a simple principle, but it is most often violated.  The first barrier protecting your online electronic information is password silence. If you have strong password that you don't share, the need to change passwords becomes less necessary. 
2.    Use a long complex password.  Complex passwords are those that contain a mixture of upper and lower case, numbers, and special characters (!@#$%^&*()_+|~-=\`{}[]:";'<>?,./).   Because it mixes uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and punctuation, the following is an example of a strong password:
4pRte!ai@3
To help you remember long complex passwords, make up a sentence and use the first letter of each word as your password, substituting some of the words for letters. 
Here is three examples:  
  1. Tp4tci2s4U2g! –The password for (4) this computer is too (2) strong for you to (4U2) guess!
  2. Fm18bIgaC.$bIli!  For my 18th birthday I got a Camaro. $Expensive, but I love it!
  3. T&C42itOw2s!  Tea and Cookies for two is the only way to share!
Whatever you choose as your password, make it complex, and keep it to yourself.
If you want to know if your password is strong enough, you can check out the strength of your password here: http://www.passwordmeter.com/

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