Most of us have been guilty of using the same password for every site that requires a login. Or writing our passwords on a sticky note and placing it on our desk. While we may know that it is not the best practice for security, we do it to make it easy to remember for ourselves.
Cybersecurity is in the news quite often and so it reminds us that one of the best ways to protect ourselves is through the strength and security of our passwords. Here are some useful password tips:
- Use a pass-sentence instead of a password. Use something that would be easy for you to remember, but still follows most required password rules (one letter, one number, one special character, one capitalized letter, etc). Ex: CoffeeS@vesmomslive5! (this one would be easy for busy moms!)
- Use a computer program to secretly store your usernames and passwords. You use one password to enter the system, and without that password, there is no way to get the data.
- Change passwords often. This is the hardest one to follow because once you get used to a password, you need to change it. Windows has a password reset every 42 days, but every 30-180 days is the suggestion. That’s a huge window, so find a time that you are comfortable within that range, and use your creativity to make new passwords!
While it seems that someone hacking into your computer could “never happen to you”, remember that in 2014 hackers had exposed the personal information of 110 million Americans (money.cnn.com). Securing your passwords is the first step in keeping your information safe on your computer.