This is rather off topic, but in a former life (LOL) I was a computer “nerd.” I served as workstation liaison at my insurance job, and completed MCSA (Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator) A+ and Net+ training. Not necessarily relevant, but my husband is also an IT Network Security Engineer and feels the same way. 🙂
In my current cloth diaper/social media career, it has come to my attention how insecure most people’s passwords are! On the one hand, it drives me crazy when my banking companies (etc.) have nutty password requirements, make me change them, and end up getting me locked out because I can’t remember them! On the other hand, it seems that most people are one hacker away from having their company/website devastated.
Here are some things to keep in mind when you create a password:
- Your password should not contain any word in the dictionary (in any language), backwards or forwards.
- It should not contain your business name, children/pets names etc.
- It should contain at least one capital letter and one lowercase letter.
- It should contain at least one number.
- It should contain a special character (!@#$%^&* etc.) if the program allows.
- Password should be at least 8 characters.
- You should change your password regularly.
- Change all passwords when you have someone leave your organization.
- Your password should not be the same for every program (If someone gets access to your Twitter account, you don’t want them to have access to your email and banking too!) I am guilty of this one. It is SO hard to remember a ton of passwords!
Tip: Take a phrase and turn it into a nonsense password. Ex: “I Got Married in Las Vegas 6/10/02” could be: Igm@LV061002 (I didn’t BTW, LOL.) To keep things simple for those in your organization, you could take part of your business name, the social media account and some significant #s. Ex: Ch@ngeDipeTW99$, Ch@ngeDipePT99$ etc. (Sorry not my passwords, LOL)
I don’t remember all the nitty gritty, but you can Google the time it takes for a hacker to gain access with 4, vs 6 vs 8-10 characters, if it contains a “word” and so forth. The difference is huge.
At the least, someone sends spam tweets. At the worst? Someone gains access to your website and/or email account, and it takes time and money to get it back (if at all.)
Change your passwords!