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The importance of a good password

Passwords are hard to choose

Passwords are hard to choose. And sometimes "Yankee-Doodle" just doesn't cut it!

Yankee Doodle isn't always dandy.

If you read the rest of this page…

you won’t find any more cartoons. But you’ll leave with some information on the importance of a good password. And, yes, girls are allowed too.

With today’s technology, you can store your whole life on your hard drive. Computers are being made smaller and smaller, and seem to be disappearing out from under people’s noses. Without password protection, nothing is safe (not even this article, ahh!). Protecting yourself with passwords is important, which I’m sure your IT officers have been drilling into your head for quite some time now. Pass along this article to them, and show those IT-big-boys who’s got the information now!

Most cases of stolen information occur by the hacker guessing the victim’s password. Moral of the story: SIMPLE PASSWORDS STINK. Steer clear from names of close friends and family, phone numbers, birthdays, and social security numbers. Software programs can file through dictionaries and word banks to figure out your password, so avoid using words found in dictionaries, even if you can’t speak that language.

Here are some things I think about when creating a password:

  • A good password is:
    • 7 or more characters long.
    • Not easy to spot while typing, such as “asdfjkl;”, and can be typed quickly (keep an eye out for those over-the-shoulder snoopers).
    • A combination of upper and lower case letters, as well as numbers, punctuation marks, and symbols.
  • Try:
    • Using the first letter of a phrase that has an important meaning to you. “Yankee Doodle went to London riding on a pony” would be “ydwtlroap”. Don’t forget to add a few numbers and symbols to that phrase!
    • Intentionally misspelling a word or phrase. Use “Dankee Yoodle” instead of “Yankee Doodle”.
    • Changing your password at least every 90 days. (Make sure to NEVER reuse old passwords!)

And once you create this secure password, never EVER write it down. Anywhere!!!

If an identity thief gets his hands on your password, he instantly gains access to your phone messages, email, bank account information, credit card information, social security numbers, and all the other information the angel on our shoulder tells us to keep private. These thieves can not only clear out your savings, they can run up charges in your name under credit cards they opened with your information. What are you going to say when the bill collectors start calling?

For more in-depth-password-creation strategies, read this article. (It’s habit-changingly good!)

I think I’ve made it pretty obvious that writing down your passwords is a bad idea. BUT, if you absolutely positively have to, check out this software. It’ll keep those precious passwords safe.

For help with physical security solutions for PCs, Laptops, and other IT equipment, call (800) 466-7636.