Weak passwords and policies

Passwords are often your first line of defence, and in many instances, the only defence against hackers gaining access to your information. Passwords are like the keys to your car. Without them you are going nowhere and in the wrong hands your car and its contents are likely on the way down the road to a local chop-shop.

So, now that we have established how important your passwords are lets discuss a few tips that will make your data more secure.

Network administrators will often implement password policies which force people to change their password on a regular basis. In addition, criteria will be set to ensure that your password maintains a certain level of complexity (number of characters, capitals, non-dictionary works, and special characters). If this hasn’t happen on your computer or network it is likely because the masses complained and the policy was dropped.

If that is the case you need to protect yourself and here are a few tips:

  • Change your password every 60 days (max) — Set a reminder on your Outlook calendar which will remind you every month!
  • Do not use something personal in nature — Your dog’s name, favourite TV show, or favourite sport are out. If your password is easily guessed don’t use it!
  • Include upper case, lower care, and special characters — The best passwords have no meaning in the dictionary. The longer the better!
  • Do not write it down — The number of people who keep their passwords on a sticky note on their computer screen or under their keyboard is astonishing. Would you leave you keys in your door?
  • Keep your password top secret — If you need to tell someone change your password the next day. You never know if they have written it down somewhere that is less than secure.

There are no guarantees when it comes to password security however if you follow these tips you will lower your chances of becoming the victim of a hacker.

Give Jeremy McMaster to design a security plan that will meet your needs and budget, 905-628-6010 x106.

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