Password Management 101

I know you’re excited when you hear the words “Create a New Password”, right? In IT, we hear a LOT about the struggle to track different sites and applications that need a username and password. So what are the best practices to ensure that when created, the username and password are both effective and memorable?

First, these are the basic points that we recommend when creating your password:

  1. Do not reuse or have the same passwords across sites.
  2. Your password should be at least 8 characters. (If you want it to be really secure, it should be a minimum of 14 characters.)
  3. Your password should contain at least 3 out of 4 of the following:
    1. Upper Case Letters
    2. Lower Case Letters
    3. Numbers
    4. Special Characters (ie !@#$%^&*()/-+)
  4. Do not share it.
  5. Do not write it down.
  6. Change your password every 3 to 6 months.

These techniques will help ensure that your passwords are effective. One way to incorporate the above standard is to create a saying or sentence for your password.  It is easy to remember and will have all the basic points covered.  So the other big question is “What is the best way to manage our passwords?” There are apps that help you organize passwords like LastPass, KeePass, Dashlane, and Sticky Password. You can read more about them here. Just like any cloud service, password managers are susceptible to an attack such as this. However, password organizers may provide a safer alternative then keeping them written down.

Remember that having a password and keeping that secure is up to the user. Don’t share passwords or confidential information with anyone. The more that you work to keep your passwords safe, the more likely you’ll work without interruption or incident to your most private information.