Jan 4, 2021

Start 2021 Off Right – Best Practices for Passwords

Remember when the only ‘secrets’ you were allowed to keep were the combination on your bike lock and your school locker? Simple three or four number combinations that kept our life's belongings secure. Now, the reality is that if you live and breathe on Earth you have not just one or two combinations to stay secure, but instead, you have dozens of digital codes and passwords that allow access to absolutely everything. A code to open the garage and front door, turn off an alarm, to access your phone, computer and tablet. Once you have accessed a device, there are literally a plethora of number, digit, and special character combinations to open an application, start a class, or call a colleague. You must log in to absolutely everything! It can be maddening. So as human nature does, we migrate toward the path of least resistance, we create a password that will work for every single thing we need to get into, and then when our browser asks us if we want to save that password we say, “Yes” of course we do, and whisper, “thank you” because you know you were probably going to forget the unforgettable password you created just minutes before. It's human nature. 

Your answer to your browser should actually be “NEVER.”

“But it saves me so much time,” you think, why would I say no to a handy short cut designed to make my life easier? First and foremost, to get the policy and rules out of the way, you should never share your password with anyone, including your browser. 

This simple act of kindness from your browser can lead you down a path of virtual and digital vulnerability. 

Privacy should be a top priority to you on personal devices as well as all other devices, websites, software, servers, etc., including your employers’.

Hackers are looking for passwords and mechanisms used to save our passwords. That is what they for a living; look for vulnerabilities and take advantage of them. It has been drilled into each of us by now that "12345678" is not a safe password. Don’t use your birthday, your name, your children's names, birthdays, and of course the word "password." Sites now provide us with criteria to create strong passwords. So, how do you remember one, two, three, maybe four dozen passwords that are unique and strong that give you access to everything; while not allowing others to do the same?  

You can make use of a password generator. A password will create an incredibly long and awkward set of random numbers, letters, and characters that you, for sure, will never remember. 

There is an app for that too, password managers. Once you have generated a random password, you can store it in a password manager app. Is this a good idea? Only your managed services team or IT team can provide that answer.  Pcmag.com ranked the Best Password Managers for 2021.

They took the time to vet and rate the top offerings. Your IT and Managed Services Team should know all about these products and can make a recommendation for personal use. As important, however, is the knowledge that the professionals in your organization who are responsible for technical matters have policies and protocol in place that already address passwords, storage, protection, and ways to defend against hackers.

Need assistance or a specialist to assist your organization with password protection and other IT matters? If you are seeking IT specialists, LightWork Managed Services works with your organization to identify vulnerabilities and address them. Reach out to LightWork Managed Services to learn more. Go to LightWork.