Yes, I know, passwords are a necessary evil in our current world. From debit cards to smart phones, passwords protect our precious assets such as bank accounts (mine currently stands at $4.32, writers don’t get paid much….) and credit ratings.
At home, you probably log in to various websites that require these nasty little monsters. Electric bills, television providers, email accounts…..how do you keep up with everything? Well as an IT professional (and my good friend DG will appreciate this), I know the value of a good, complex password.
Think of it in these terms. Would be hackers and thieves need only a slight footprint of your demographic to open up phony accounts, drain current accounts, or wreak havoc on your credit ratings. Even my wife has gone through this, (I TOLD you honey…) and I can tell you, it is not an easy task to back out all of the damage a thief can cause. Here are a few simple rules to abide by, to keep you safe and out of sight from would be tricksters:
- Your password should always be at least 8 characters in length
- Your password should always contain a capital letter, a number, and at least one special character (i.e. $, %, !….) You can get creative this way, changing a common name into something more cryptic (i.e. Geronimo can become G3r0n!m0)
- While your password should be memorable for you, try to avoid things such as birthdays, anniversaries, or spouses/kids names. These will be the first attempts any thief worth his weight in prison bars will try
- Never write your password down on a notepad, especially with the account type written right before it (i.e. Regions Bank – xxxxxxx). And yes, mother in law, I’m referring to you.
- For those in a corporate setting, hiding your password under your keyboard is the first place we IT nerds are going to look. That’s soooooooo 2003.
- If you have trouble keeping up with all of your usernames and passwords, there are viable products on the market that act as a “safe”, a container for all of your accounts and credentials. You simply need to just remember the product password at that point.
I know I won’t reach all of you out there. There will still be some that insist on doing things “the old fashioned way”, and unfortunately for these guys they will mark themselves as easy targets. For my true db fanbase, I know you guys will smarten up, and abide by best practice. See you next week.
Until then, stay wireless my friends. ~ db