I recall a morning Pre-PC Era 30-some years ago when no one at my office could log onto their mainframe monitors. It seems that our programmer had worked late into the night. Not only had he changed the system password, he forgot to set his alarm clock. Several attempts to contact him were unsuccessful. This was also the Pre-Cell Phone Era.
Fortunately, we were able to reach him. When we asked him for the new password, he said, “You’ll figure it out. It’s easy.” Without another word, he hung up and, apparently, went back to sleep.
It took us a while, but we finally figured it out when someone suggested that we consider how to properly punctuate what our programmer had said. Turns out he said, “You’ll figure it out. It’s ‘E-A-S-Y’.”
Thirty years later, that’s still a big problem. As advanced as technology has become, passwords are still far too EASY. It’s as if we have a genetic predisposition that precludes us from creating passwords that are impenetrable – or at least difficult. Either that or we don’t have the ability to create and recall complicated passwords. You know the feeling: “How do I make this unique, but still easy to remember?”
123456 and password
Those are the two most popularly-used passwords. They have been for several years. Go figure. Many others are simply variations on these two themes.
When you fail to create passwords that are difficult to discern you might as well paint a target on your back.
As much as we hate to say this, paying for a top-notch digital security service is like spitting into the wind if you don’t use and require strong passwords.
So, here are a few tips to help get you started:
- DO NOT use fewer than eight characters. The longer, the better.
- DO NOT use logical patterns or letters or numbers.
- DO NOT use repetitive or sequential letters or numbers.
- DO NOT use names, addresses, or dates.
- DO NOT use any words found in the dictionary.
It takes a team to Guard Your Technology, but never forget that it is your technology and they are your passwords. We encourage you to create better passwords. Tech Sentries can take care of the rest.