Passwords are an integral part of our daily computer usage. The reason we have so many passwords is to keep others out of our business whether it is personal or for use at Creative Foam. For work we have passwords to login to our computers, passwords for individual applications and passwords to our data sheets. For personal we have passwords to our bank accounts, our social media accounts and to our personal email accounts. The more access we have the more passwords we have to know. Sometimes we make them simple to make it easier to keep track of them. Bad Idea!
The most common passwords that are a bad idea are: 123456, onetwothreefour, qwerty, or any sliding across the keyboard in a single line. Also in the list of worst passwords ever are: password, baseball, football, pet names, family member names, birthdates, and any password that a website has given you to login.
Passwords should not be simple by any means but that’s not to say that we cannot use a simple password we just need a way to make it complex. There are tricks to making something simple a bit more complex so that remembering is still easy. Let’s take password for instance – it is simple. To make it complex we can change out letters with numbers and special characters making it more complex – P@$5w0Rd. So, you still know it is password but it will take hackers a lot longer to hack this version.
As suppliers of foam, providing NVH solutions to our Automotive, Composite, and Medical customers we might try to default to passwords like foam1234, or windenergy, or mrifoam1111. The best passwords are at least eight characters in length, combination of letters, both capital and small, numbers and special characters or punctuations. Make them meaningful to you. For example, my cat’s name: mYc@t’$N@m3, simple but complex. Try not to use the same ID and password combination for multiple sites. You may find yourself writing the combinations down to keep track of them. If you must write them down put them in a note or spreadsheet on your computer that you can password with something easily remembered. There are programs and applications to help you manage your passwords called Password Managers or Keepers. The programs exist for your computers, iPhones, Android Phones, and iPads, and many are cross platforms.
Password keepers are easy to install, they should be simple to use, require a password, PIN or passcode to open, will help you manage your password and ID combinations, and many have cloud based backup system. Basic free managers are applications like EverNote, SafeNotes, LastPass 3.0, Master Password and iPassword. EverNote and SafeNotes is like having secure sticky notes on your phone. Both require a master PIN to let you see your notes. LastPass 3.0 is a Windows application that will help you manage passwords and will complete logins for you using one master password. On the iPhone side, Master Password keeps your passwords and suggests replacement passwords allowing you to choose the length. iPassword is visually friendly and will also help you generate secure passwords.
Try different password applications, keepers and methods and find one that fits you and how you will be using it; even if it is a notebook that you keep with you. Just remember to keep yourself safe from hackers and those that want to get your personal information. Do not make your passwords so complex that they drive you crazy. Update your passwords often, and try not to use the same ones over and over again.
Check out these links for more information:
or your own Little Black Book for internet addresses and passwords.
Submitted by Jill Landsman
Also, checkout our other Blog about PC Security Tips and Passwords.