Category : security

Don’t Be outplayed!

In the ever-expanding world of the internet, defending yourself from increasingly complex threats and minimizing your exposure to risk becomes ever more important. One of your first lines of defense (and often times the strongest) is having a secure password.

There are various methods people use to make and remember their passwords, and it is important to ensure that a password is long enough, yet easy enough that you can remember it without needing to write it down somewhere where people can find it. The most complex password in the world won’t help you if it’s found on a post-it note!

A good length – It is important to ensure that your password is sufficiently long that it would take an impossible amount of time to randomly guess it, or ‘crack’ it. The math behind how long it would take is a little involved, so we’ll go straight to why length matters, for every extra character you add to a password, the amount of ‘space’ or combinations a cracking attack must deal with goes up exponentially.

Memorable – It would do nobody any good if they cannot remember their passwords, not only could you lock yourself out of important accounts, but you could be tempted to write down the password and leave it somewhere where somebody else can find it. One suggestion is to use a passphrase instead of trying to make a difficult string of characters such as XD448@8zrq. The passphrase should be something meaningful to you, but not something you would have as a social media status. One example may be ‘I love B0st0n in the Spring!’, or something slightly nonsensical like ‘GrandAdmiralBuckles01!!’ referencing your pet cat and their obvious naval combat experience. The most important thing is that it is memorable, and at least 15 characters long. Be creative!

Individualism – While having a very strong password memorized is a good start, remember that your passwords or passphrases are your keychain in the digital world. Unlike your keychain, you can’t be certain that they are all together and safe in your pocket! Well, you can in a way, we will get to that in the next point. Because everyone, no matter how careful they are, can have a password stolen from them at any time, it is important to make sure that you ideally have a different password for each service or website that you use, but most importantly the accounts that are critical to you such as your bank, your email, your school account, etc.

Putting your keys on a chain? – I said earlier that you cannot put passwords on a keychain like you can keys, but you can keep them in a box! Or more specifically, you can utilize a reputable Password Manager, sometimes called a Password Vault. These programs are designed to safely store account login information, and most frequently make it easy to generate complex and individual passwords across your entire digital space. However, take care that you choose a well known and highly regarded program, especially those who undergo third party verification. A few recommendations: Bitwarden, KeePass, or Dashlane.

 WU ITS Information Security


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