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Password Security Basics!

When it comes to passwords, we all know the basics. Don’t use your dogs name, don’t use your kid’s birthday, etc etc. Those have been tried and true password recommendations for years. For many of those tried and true password policies are getting ready to change!

Common password recommendations:

Don’t use “password” as your password.

Even with as obvious as that sounds, people still get lazy and use something as simple as the word “password” for their password. Don’t do that. There are many applications (apps) that can help you organize your passwords securely. (HINT: Hexi-Tech will be releasing an App this fall!)

Don’t use common knowledge information, like your birthday or your pet’s name.

Lets face it, a secure password is only as good as you can remember it. If you make it too hard or to long, you will never remember it. If you make it to easy like the name of your pet, it will be so easy to guess, then why even have a password? Make your passwords something easy for YOU to remember, but hard to guess.

Make your password C0mPl3x

Another great way to make a secure password is to make it complex! Just because it is complex, doesn’t mean it has to be hard to remember! You can make any password a more complex password by doing a few simple things:

  • Change your letters out for symbols. For example use @ in place of the letter “a”. You can also use numbers in place of letters, for example using the number 3 in place of an “e” in your passwords.
  • Use a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters. PaSsWord is not the same as PasswOrd. Even though they have the same letters, to a computer those both represent a completely different password.
  • Another great way to make your password more complex is to string together multiple non related words. You can even make it funny or memorable to help you remember it. For example: dogicecreammess. One time I gave my dog some ice cream and he made a huge mess of it. That is something I will easily remember.

Now lets take what we just learned and create us a complex memorable password:

dogicecreammess – that is our base password

Lets add an uppercase letter to it. Now we can remember our dog ate ice cream and made a mess and the last letter is a capital letter.

dogicecreammesS

Lets take it one step further to make a truly complex password by adding special characters or symbols! Lets swap the “e” for 3 and the “a” for @.

dogic3cr3@mmesS

Change your password regularly!

Another common password recommendation you may hear is to change your password often! Imaging trying to guess the combination of a lock, now change the combination to that lock every so often. Wouldn’t that make the combination harder to guess? That’s the idea security professionals have been touting for years!

Change your password often (typically 30-90 days)

Use a Unique Password for each Account

We have done everything we are told: we made a unique password that isn’t easy to guess, we made that password complex with symbols, numbers, uppercase and lowercase and we even change the password regularly to make sure it isn’t compromised.

…..WAIT A SECOND….

YOU WANT ME TO GO THROUGH ALL THAT

FOR EVERY ACCOUNT I HAVE???
Email, Facebook, Google, Work, Twitter, Online Banking, etc etc etc

The best security is to have a unique password that meets all of the recommendations for EACH ACCOUNT that you have. Otherwise, if someone was to guess your password for just 1 account, well…now they have the password for ALL of your accounts.

The easiest way to accomplish this is a password management software. This secure software allows you to maintain a complex unique password for every account you have. Many of these apps will even do the occasional password change for you automatically!

Stay Tuned for More!!

This fall Hexi-Tech will be releasing our own app to help you manage all of your secure passwords in one location.

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Stay tuned for our upcoming article on how password recommendations are changing…