Passwords are a vital component used to access digital assets, that is why "Password Hygiene" is one of the highest priority requirements in large organizations.
There are some common-sense guidelines that should be followed for a Good Password Hygiene to secure sensative data at work and in your pesonal life.
Choosing a strong password
A strong password is one that is more secure by virtue of being difficult for a machine or a human to guess. Password strength can be achieved by incorporating the following characteristics; the more characteristics you incorporate into your password, the stronger it will be.
Characteristics of strong passwords
- At least 8 characters (the more characters, the better)
- A mixture of both uppercase and lowercase letters
- A mixture of letters and numbers
- Inclusion of at least one special character
Examples of weak passwords
- Any word that can be found in a dictionary, in any language (e.g:
- A dictionary word with some letters simply replaced by numbers (e.g:
- A repeated character or a series of characters (e.g:
- A keyboard series of characters (e.g:
- Personal information (e.g: birthdays, names of pets, phone numbers or favorite color)
- Anything that’s written down and stored somewhere near your computer
Protecting your password
- Change it regularly (once every three to six months)
- Change it if you have the slightest suspicion that the password has become known by a human or a machine (e.g: website or malicious software)
- Avoid typing it on computers that you do not trust (e.g: computer of your colleague)
- Never save it for a web form on a computer that you do not control or that is used by more than one person
- Never store your password on your computer except in an encrypted form
- Never send your password via email or other unsecured channel
- Never tell it to anyone, not even your system administrator
- Be very careful when entering your password with somebody else next to you
- Never write it down
Remembering your password
A strong password is hard to guess, but it should be easy for you to remember. So what can you do?
- Use a secure password manager
- Use a text file encrypted with a strong encryption utility
It is really important to note that he main target of security is not only creating rules but also following them.