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Security Matters: Passwords – the Key to Good Security

Security Matters: Passwords – the Key to Good Security

Security Matters: Passwords – the Key to Good Security

Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus ‎10-26-2011 08:24 AM

This week’s featured Security Matters video is focused on passwords. Good password management is one of the most effective data protection tools. Period. Below you’ll find some simple tips to maximize your password management effectiveness:


  • Always change default passwords (i.e. never use “password” as a password).
  • Use passwords with at least 8 characters.  When composing passwords, use combinations of capitals, numbers and special characters.
  • The 3 out of 4 rule will help you create a complex password – Upper case, lower case, Numeric, and Special Character – use 4 of the 4.
  • Use passwords that are easy to remember but hard to guess. One way to create a strong password is to think of a memorable phrase and use the first letter of each word as your password, converting some letters into numbers that resemble letters. For example, "How much wood could a woodchuck chuck" would become HmWc@wCc.
  • Avoid common words: Hackers use Dictionary attack programs that try every word in the dictionary.
  • Do not use your personal information (family names, pet names, favorite foods, etc.), your login name, the current month, or adjacent keys on the keyboard as passwords.
  • Change your passwords regularly (at minimum, every 90 days).
  • Use a different password for each online account you access (or at least a variety of passwords with difficulty based on the value of the information contained in each).
  • It is recommended that you don’t reuse passwords.
  • When changing passwords, change more than just one character.


Remember to keep your passwords in a safe place, not easily accessible to everyone… perhaps in a password protected document?  Please share any other security tips you may have. 


If you missed last week’s video on email and document encryption, click here.



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