Who knew? February 1 was Change Your Password Day

broken lockOops; already blew that deadline… Not to worry or maybe worry all you want. It’s only a matter of time before we hear about the next data security breach. While we are past the designated password change day, that doesn’t let us off the hook. Your password is the first line of cyber-defense. We want to safeguard access to our accounts, which in turn protects our identity.
How do we go about that? We’ve done the research, so you don’t have to. But you still have to do the work of changing passwords or installing a password manager.

“Treat your password like your toothbrush. Don’t let anybody else use it, and get a new one every six months” – Clifford Stoll

Password best practices include:

  • Length: at least eight characters
  • Complexity: mix upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters such as !@#.

Don’t use a name (especially your own name or e-mail) or something recognizable, such as slang or any word allowable in Scrabble. You also need to be more inventive than 12345 or abcdef; passwords that typically top the easiest-to-decode list

Security experts recommend using a different password for every login. If you’re like me, that means regularly requesting resets for lost password or logins. Perhaps consider developing sets of passwords that you use at different sites, such as financial or social media categories. If you don’t want to use a password management tool, create a phrase to remember passwords. For example, use the initials from a line in an unforgettable song or quote. For example, to dream the impossible dream becomes 2DtImposD!! or something like that. Improved password protection is on my NUTs (nagging unfinished tasks) list so I finally downloaded LastPass. So far, so good. Check out suggestions from PC Magazine. This link reviews the best password managers: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2407168,00.asp

The key to good passwords: make them memorable for you and impenetrable for others. Simple isn’t necessarily easy, but it is important for peace of mind.

 

One thought on “Who knew? February 1 was Change Your Password Day

  1. I’m amazed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head.
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    Like

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