Friendly reminder and suggestion from Mike regarding passwords.

As I am sure everyone has either heard or read at this point the rumors of another huge password breach are running rampant!  Don’t be one of the people that go it probably isn’t my information that they got, these are not attacks on any one individual but rather on large technology systems that you may or may not be part of.  This latest breach prompted me to remind all of our BECA team members as painful as it is, we should change ALL of our passwords, look as it is early preparation for 2015.

I meet with people all the time and they ask what should we do?  If you ask people to change their password every 90 days they just complain and request password resets from the help desk when they forget.  The first thing to make sure everyone understands is this is real, growing up in Ohio many times we didn’t lock the door when we went to bed, now today most people lock the door every evening and some even as soon as you walk in the house.  2014 is a different world and protecting your digital assets is as important as protecting your physical assets.

So here are some helpful ideas and suggestions?

Just set everything to the same password so you only have to remember one!  This is a very dangerous practice because it is common today for systems to be compromised and the first thing that is tried is to login to another system with the passwords they just stole.  So if you use a web system and that password is the same as your Facebook, Google or Microsoft password then you can bet that the crooks are trying to use it.  The “bad-guys” are not stupid, they know that almost every user likes to use the same password for everything, so even if you change your password on one compromised system they can still have access to your many others.  Here is an idea … pick a system like the first 2 initials of a web system name or last 2 initials of a web system name.  Instead of using MyP@ssword for everything use FBMyP@ssword for Facebook and GOMyP@assword for Google … you don’t have to be smarter than the bad guys just a little more creative!

I am fine, I have special characters in my password!  Well, hate to share this but that secret is out … many people know that instead of a i to use a 1 or instead of an E use a 3.  Be more creative, change your characters, add shift keys to use your alphabet!

If you say I just can’t remember all these passwords!  The simple thing to do is create your own password protected document, Microsoft Office password protection is very strong and if you desire to store your passwords in one place make sure it is password protected!

Lastly, think about spending some money and buying a password management system, BECA uses an enterprise grade system for all of our people.  No different than buying better locks for your home or adding security for your home, protect digital data with the same aggressive behavior that you protect your family.  No company or software can protect you if you aren’t willing to protect yourself, start today and start changing your passwords!

Protection is your responsibility!


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