Your Business
Security Guard

Your password is the locked door to all of your e-mail, web-accounts, and more.  Just like you wouldn't make it easy for someone to unlock the door to your home, a good password keeps others from easily accessing your information.  When you are picking your password keep the following things in mind:

  • Create YOUR OWN password!  Leaving the default password is just asking for your account to be hacked.  If all employees at your business are given the default password of "NEWEMPLOYEE" then anyone who fails to change their password has already made it public knowledge among company employees.  This also means that if one account using a default password is compromised, then all accounts still using the default password have also been compromised.
  • Create DIFFERENT passwords and user IDs for each account that you have.  If you password is compromised for one account, you don't want to give the hacker free access to all of your other accounts.  Worried about remembering all those passwords?  There are password safes, such as KeePass that will store your passwords securely so that they are neither stolen, nor forgotten.
  • Change your password OFTEN.  The frequency depends upon several things including the how sensitive of information is contained on the website and whether you use a private or public computer.
  • Make your password DIFFICULT to remember.  That sounds counter-intuitive, but if your password is easily remembered, it may be remembered by someone who shouldn't have it.  Don't use anything for a password that someone could learn about you on Facebook®.  Try mixing up numbers letters and symbols in ways that only you can remember.  Let's try an example.
    • Maybe  you really like the John Denver song, "Country Roads"  So let's take the first letter of each word from the chorus.  That gives us:  CrtmhttpIb
    • Maybe you even went to his concert once in 1974.  So let's put this in your password too.  Now we have Crt1mht9tp7Ib4
    • Probably you were really excited to go.  So let's add an exclamation mark to the end to show it:  Crt1mht9tp7Ib4!
    • Now you have a password that contains UPPERCASE, lowercase, and even a symbol.  You password is also 15 characters long which not only meets, but surpasses most sites' minimum of 8-10 characters.  Passwords can be easy to remember if it's something special about you, but safe if it's something that other people wouldn't know.
  • Keep your password SECRET.  If you share your password, write it on a sticky note, or let your internet browser remember it for you, then be sure that it will not remain a secret for very long.
  • Google Apps recently researched the top 10 most common passwords.  If these remind you of your own passwords it may be time for a change!
    • Pet names
    • A notable date, such as a wedding anniversary
    • A family member's birthday
    • Your child's name
    • Another family member's name
    • Your birthplace
    • A favorite holiday
    • Something related to your favorite sports team
    • The name of a significant other
    • The word "Password"
      Read more: Google Reveals the 10 Worst Password Ideas
  • If you believe your password has been compromised, change it IMMEDIATELY!
 

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