The IAR Tech Guy’s Approach to Password Security

I’ve been up to my eyeballs in network security lately and the one thing I keep running into is “layered security.” Whether it’s securing your computer or securing your home, the best defense is a layered one.

Go with me on this…the door to your home probably has a deadbolt on it, this is the first layer. You might have a dog, even if it’s a small yipping dog, this is the second layer. That .38 Special in your bedroom safe would make up the third layer. Would you agree that layered security is the best approach? Then let’s move on…

The layer I want to focus on today is password security. Do you use the same password for everything? Is your password one of the following:

  • 12345
  • password, p@ssword, p@55w0rd
  • qwerty
  • letmein
  • baseball, football, golf
  • trustno1
  • secret
  • expletive…

If so, stop reading this blog post and change your passwords right now!!!

Here are some tips to make sure you are taking that extra layered approach to securing everything in your life that is password protected:

  1. Make sure your password is at least eight characters long.
  2. Always use an uppercase letter.
  3. Always use a number, preferably not “1” as this will be the first number hackers will guess.
  4. Use a special character such as !, @, #, etc.
  5. Never use a dictionary word. Password cracking software uses files full of dictionary words, including foreign language words.
  6. Come up with a good phrase such as, Calmb4theStorm, AllUneedisL0ve!, DOnthaveAcowMan.
  7. Change your password once every other month. Set a calendar reminder and don’t ignore it!
  8. If you are one of those people that increase the number at the end of a password whenever you change it (i.e. password1, password2, etc…), come up with a pre-set number to increment. For instance, use the number 111. Password 1 would become password112, password 112 would become password223 and so on.
  9. Don’t use easily guessed dates, pets or relatives.
  10. Don’t give your password to anyone! Even your IT guy!

Safe computing!



One thought on “The IAR Tech Guy’s Approach to Password Security

  1. Great tips Matt.

    I also recommend not using the same password for every site. I know some people who do that and then someone gets a hold of it and they’re changing every site they’ve ever been to.

    Have to go now; need to change some passwords! :)

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