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Will Your Password Be Unbroken

Throughout October, I am posting a weekly blog to promote cybersecurity awareness at TEAMHealth as part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). The topics are intended to raise awareness about technology-related threats and common security concerns and provide recommendations and tips to assist you to stay safer and more secure online. This week’s topic is Will Your Password Be Unbroken?

Will Your Password Be Unbroken?
Did you know that most passwords are easily broken? Have you found it hard to create a good, strong password that you can remember? Creating a strong, but easily remembered, password can be a challenge, but a few “secrets” can help you. Check out the dos and don’ts below.

Do you want to create a strong password? (Your answer should be YES.)

  • Use at least 8 characters, preferably more
  • Use a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols
  • Create an easy-to-remember passphrase by choosing a phrase and adding numbers and symbols. Length is more important than complexity. For example:
    • “It might seem crazy what I’m about to say” becomes “Itmightseem7CrazywhatI’mabout56to$ay”
    • Fairly easy to remember, but far stronger than a typical complex password such as 79RtiO)m^B or something similar
  • Consider using a password safe or manager such as LastPass or KeePass
  • Change your password or passphrase regularly
  • Be sure you’re on the correct website before entering your password or passphrase

You won’t do these things we’re asking you not to do, will you? (Your answer should be NO.)

  • Don’t include your username or account number in your password or passphrase
  • Don’t use the same password for multiple services
  • Don’t use a single word, in any language
  • Don’t use consecutive repeating characters or a number sequence
  • Don’t use your pet’s name
  • Don’t use your birthdate, address, phone number, or any other type of information someone can easily obtain
  • Don’t share your password or passphrase

Be on the lookout for these Blog postings throughout the month of October.

Gray Mitchell
Chief Information Security Officer

This post is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. It includes an unmodified excerpt from Educause Review attributed to Educause