Get out your diary, there is another day that you have to work into the schedule – Change Your Password Day! And no – there is no obligation to buy a flower, pin or a wristband – not that I ever have a problem with purchasing them!
Tuesday 7 May 2013 is Change Your Password Day which essentially is all about keeping you safe online. Research shows that the most effective way of protecting you and your digital assets (your photos, contacts, videos, music) is by having a super, duper password AND changing it regularly.
Your password is the first line of defence against unauthorised access to your computer. So, the stronger your password, the better protected you will be from cybercrims and malicious software. A quick check of your password at How Secure Is My Password? will tell you how long it would take a cybercriminal to crack your combination. (I added a few extra symbols and numbers to mine and it will now take 3000 years!!)
In an ideal world, we should have a different password for every account. But let’s be honest – that requires a vast amount of brain power. So my new best friend is my SafeKey password manager which remembers my ridiculous number of passwords for me – an absolute life saver!
So, how do we create a strong password? Here are some tips to get you started
- It has to have at least 8 but ideally 10 characters
- It can’t contain a complete word
- It must be significantly different from previous passwords
- It can’t contain your username, real name or company name
- It MUST contain number, symbols and both lower and uppercase letters
- It must not include sequential letters or numbers eg 12345 or abcde
- Don’t enter your password on a computer that doesn’t belong to you
- Never send your password to anyone in an email
- Change your password IMMEDIATELY if you think it has been compromised – don’t waste a moment!
But don’t forget about your kids – please make sure they understand the importance of having a strong password and encourage them to change theirs as well. And while you have their attention PLEASE tell them that passwords are like toothbrushes – they just can’t be shared!
Till next time,
Stay Safe Online