Almost every site you visit today requires a username and password to be entered. Keeping up with each username and password can become very troublesome. Worst of all, just when you manage to memorize one, you are forced to change it. As annoying as this may seem, the reality is that we sometimes take passwords for granted. The main purpose for a password is to serve as the first and sometimes the only line of defense to protect important information. Passwords keep unauthorized users from accessing financial information, health data, private and company documents. They are also what identify you on a particular system. In some cases the activity that happens by using your login credentials can place you in a position of liability. It can be hard to come up with effective passwords that don't require you having a photographic memory.
- Use different kinds of characters; use uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols, and spaces when allowed
- Use long passwords (8 or more characters)
- Change passwords regularly, at a minimum at least quarterly, and whenever they may have become compromised
- Use the first (or last) letter of each word in an easily remembered phrase; for added security, substitute symbols for the letters. For example using the phrase "If money doesn't grow on trees then why do banks have branches?" would be IMDGOTTWDBHB?
- Don’t give your password to anyone for any reason
- Don't write your password near your PC, in your laptop bag, in user manuals, electronically in word documents, or sent in e-mails
- Don't use personal information such as: your name, your friend's name, pet's name, addresses, social security number, phone number, license plate number, important dates such as birthdays or anniversaries
- Do not use the same password for multiple sign-ins
- Do not use easy to spot passwords such as "qwerty" or "123456" or "aaaAAA" or "Password01"