Friday, December 11, 2015

New Year, New Password

With the new year approaching, updating passwords should probably get added to your resolution list. The first step in protecting your online privacy is creating a safe password - i.e. one that a computer program or persistent individual won't easily be able to guess in a short period of time.
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Tips for creating a secure password:
  • Include punctuation marks and/or numbers.
  • Mix capital and lowercase letters.
  • Include similar looking substitutions, such as the number zero for the letter 'O' or '$' for the letter 'S'.
  • Create a unique acronym.
  • Include phonetic replacements, such as 'Luv 2 Laf' for 'Love to Laugh'.

Things to avoid:
  • Don't reuse passwords for multiple important accounts, such as Gmail and online banking.
  • Don't use a password that is listed as an example of how to pick a good password.
  • Don't use a password that contains personal information (name, birth date, etc.)
  • Don't use words or acronyms that can be found in a dictionary.
  • Don't use keyboard patterns (asdf) or sequential numbers (1234).
  • Don't make your password all numbers, uppercase letters or lowercase letters.
  • Don't use repeating characters (aa11).

Tips for keeping your password secure:
  • Never tell your password to anyone (this includes significant others, roommates, parrots, etc.).
  • Never write your password down.
  • Never send your password by email.
  • Periodically test your current password and change it to a new one.

Google Apps Admins can set password strength and user password recovery
Admins can help protect users' accounts by managing and monitoring the strength of passwords. You can set length requirements and monitor the strength of each user's password. You can also allow each user to reset their password without administrator assistance.  For more on password monitoring and user recovery read more.