Everyone worries about security. Today, more than ever, our lives are online and having everything online is a fine balancing act between security and convenience. There are many ways to keep your data secure. Remember that each situation is different and that even those these are some of the best practices to keeping your information safe, it doesn’t guarantee that it will. Here are a few tips from the Bennett Support Team for the top 5 password best practices.
- Use complex passwords. – We all know that the more complex the password, the less likely it is that someone will be able to figure out what it is. Incorporating capital letters, special characters, and numbers into your passwords leaves you with an added level of security. The drawback to having a totally random password is that it’s difficult to remember. Microsoft has come up with a way to generate passwords that are both complex and easier to remember. Microsoft suggests the following for creating a complex password; think of a sentence, remove the spaces, turn the words into shorthand or intentionally misspell a word, and add a number that is significant to you at the end. For example, “Somewhere over the rainbow” becomes “Somewhereovertherainbow” and then “Sumwhereovrtherainbow” and finally “Sumwhereovrtherainbow2012.”
- Change Passwords often. – It’s an industry standard to change passwords every three months. I know, I know, you have to think of a lot of passwords if you have to change them every three months but as your whining to yourself think of how much whining you’d be doing if someone broke into your accounts. At minimum, you should change your passwords yearly.
- Never leave a password anywhere on your desk! – Are you someone who can’t remember their password and leaves it laying on their desk somewhere? If you are, you should memorize that bad boy. Even if you don’t have “PASSWORD” written on your sticky note, chances are that someone trying to get into your computer will be able to tell if “x87!Ymom” is your password.
- Lock your computer – With a simple keystroke, you can secure your information when you walk away to get a candy bar in the break room. Windows key + L. It’s that easy. Go ahead, try it out! When you’re ready to come back on, just hit CTRL + ALT + DELETE and it brings you to your login screen. While your getting your candy bar, your programs are still running!
- Never share your password with anyone.
There are a couple other things to be aware of; we know you have 12,463 passwords to keep track of (we don’t like it much either) and it’s so tempting to use those password keeper programs. But, be careful. There are two main concerns with these types of programs; first, who wrote the program? Make sure the program is written by a reputable source and not someone trying to steal your information. Second, what’s your backup plan? What would happen if that service suddenly was disabled, discontinued, or had a major malfunction that made it un-accessible?