School Beat: Best Practices for Password Security

Having multiple passwords is commonplace in today’s society. We all have multiple passwords that we use on a daily basis. From work to banking to logging on to shopping sites, we are inundated with requests for passwords. It is tempting to use the same password for all online venues for easy management and retrieval. However, to avoid your accounts being compromised, it is best not to use the same password for all accounts and to add complexity to your password creation process.

There are several ways to accomplish online security without causing undue hardship. One way would be to use a password management software. Multiple solutions are available that would allow you to safely store all passwords. Some are free, while others charge a fee, but they have proven to be an ideal solution to securely managing passwords.   Some popular choices in management software include Dashlane, Roboform, and LastPass. Searching “best password management software” will give many results.

Another method gaining credibility is using a passphrase instead of a password. It is easier to remember a passphrase than a random password and the approach can satisfy complexity requirements. When choosing a passphrase it is not recommended that you use a popular quote or song that can be easily hacked. A passphrase should be at least 14 characters long and, for added security, should use a capital letter and a number.   An example might be “Take daughter 2 dance!”, which would satisfy complexity requirements and is easy to retrieve by memory.   It is important to note that some websites may have password length limitations, which is becoming less common, and other sites prefer no spaces between words.

Online security hacks are on the rise. There are individuals who nearly make a full-time job out of accessing personal information and data. Being vigilant to frequently change your passwords, not using the same password for multiple sites, and adding complexity to building your passwords are all recommended practices for technological security. There is never a guarantee that this will prevent your information from being compromised, but these measures do greatly reduce the risk.

 

Robert Stull

Director of Information Technology

Rockford Public Schools