security

2014-02-01-Change-Your-Password-Day

This is not my normal “photography” post,  but I thought it would be good to help raise awareness of something we should all do on a periodic basis.  That is changing your passwords.  What makes this even more appropriate is that it is Change Your Password Day which was started a coupe of years by the folks over at Gizmodo.

With all the news about web sites being compromised and user credentials stolen, it is a great idea to follow some simple steps to keep your various online accounts out of the hands of the bad guys.

  • Change your passwords frequently
    • This could be on an annual, monthly or even weekly basis depending on how important the particular account is.  If you hear on the news of a data breach at some big company, then maybe it is time to change your password, especially if it is with that particular company.
  • Use unique passwords on ever site
    • If a bad guy has access to one of your accounts, you don’t want him to have access to other ones by using the same credentials.
  • Use a password manager
    • There are a many password managers that keep track of all your unique passwords.  This allows you to keep track of all of them without keeping post-it notes all around your computer screen.  Here are links to a couple of my favorites:
  • Use complex passwords
    • After some of the recent data breaches there have been many articles written about passwords that people use.  You’d be amazed at how many people use things such as “123456,”  “qwerty,” or even “monkey.”  Some people even think they are being more secure by adding a number to the end of their password that matches the number of the month (monkey1, monkey2, etc).  BAD IDEA.  Instead, use passwords such as “!MAOk5^dSh6#RbC!” if the web site will allow it.  The longer and more cryptic the password the better.  By using a password manager, you can let the computer remember all of these cryptic passwords for you.

Online security should be on everyone’s mind.  Have a happy “change your password day!”