Password Security

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As we read almost on a daily basis about cyber attacks happening let’s not be complacent when it comes to our first line of defense concerning passwords. The following are a couple of reminders about password safety. You are probably very familiar with these common suggestions, so no harm in doing a quick review.

The bigger your password is, the better the password.

A 4-character password can be cracked using “brute force” techniques.
A brute force attack is if an intruder snags an encrypted file from your computer they could try a large number of password combinations in a short amount of time. A 6-character password will take much longer, and 8 characters even longer. The recommendation is if you want to be more secure, go for 12 characters or longer. So the longer the better with a mix of letters (upper and lower case), numbers, and symbols.

You could be attacked if you use a word found in a common dictionary, so don’t use those. One thing I have never read about is what if you thought of a word backwards and used that? I don’t think there are any dictionaries with every word backwards yet. That was just a thought.

Keep your passwords safe. Don’t keep your password right on the monitor for anyone to see. I know you never do that.

Change your password often. Several times a year is good.

Don’t just use one password for everything. It’s possible that someone could grab your one password and try it on multiple sites or could pass it around to other users to break into your accounts at other sites.

Passwords can sometimes feel like an inconvenience, but it is one of the necessities in our line of defense. Who knows what we will have to use in the future as computer technology gets even faster and the encryption easier to mathematically decipher.

Lisa B

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