Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Weak Passwords

 

                                                  (A scammer puppet made from scratch)


"Weak Passwords" by Ken Harris

 

How often do you think of the significance of passwords to your personal and business accounts? Are you complacent in properly managing safeguards to crucial networks that matter to you? If none of these thoughts have no weight in your daily life, perhaps you should reconsider. 

 

It’s actually no different than the importance of ensuring our homes are properly secured when away. A weak password is like an open door to a willing cyber thief. 

 

Here are some basics to keep in mind about passwords. 

 

  • Create a strong password by making it long. Every character makes it strong.
  • Ensure your chosen password is difficult to guess. 
  • Avoid using birthdate, pet names, or anything that you shared on social media. 

 

You might consider using a paraphrase as it is one of the simplest ways to create a strong password. This is made up of many words such as, “I need to go to the bank”, or use of random words like, “cloud-mountain-thunder-journey”. Just select one that is easy for your to remember. 

 

When creating a password, you might be prompted to include an assortment of symbols, numbers, or upper and lowercase numbers. 

 

Whatever you do, always use a different, unique password for each account. In event your account is compromised by a hacker, you will have some peace of mind knowing your other accounts are still secured. 

 

If remember many passwords poses trouble, you should consider utilizing a password manager. This is a special program that securely stores all of your passwords. You only need to remember the actual password manager. 

 

Your password is a secret and it should stay a secret. Don’t share it with coworkers or your supervisor. If anyone knows, it is no longer a secret and so much for your peace of mind. 

 

I would not use public computers to log onto online accounts such as checking email at hotels or libraries. Since anyone can access these computers, they may be infected with malware. It’s best to log into accounts from computers or mobile devices that can be trusted. 

 

Some websites use security questions for your accounts. You offer answers to personal questions in case you forget your password and need to reset it. Here’s the problem with that. Some of these questions or answers can be found online or on your social media accounts. Only use information that is not publicly known about you, or simply make up answers to questions. 

 

Some accounts offer two-step verification also called two factor authentication or multi-factor authentication. This requires a one-time code in addition to your password to log in. A unique code is generated in a special app on your smartphone that is used with your password to log-in. 

 

Whenever possible, enable two-step verification so that your accounts are protected by more than just a password by itself. Weak or compromised passwords are one of the most common ways cyber attackers break into organizations or online accounts.

 

If you believe you accidentally shared a work-related password or believe it may have been hacked or stolen, be sure to change it right away. Afterwards, notify your technical support team asap. 

 

I use family friendly puppetry to spread cyber security awareness and scam prevention. 


See how I use puppets to spread tips at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZ5JPhBrP4OpCKeY4hbm5Dg?view_as=subscriber


Check out my website at https://shadowworldpresent.wixsite.com/safe for more information! 


Stay safe and stay secure!


Ken Harris

Puppeteer/Filmmaker


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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