[WatSec (Waterloo Security), our security partner, will be sending us security tips from time to time. These may cover points covered in past Security Corner articles, but review is always good.]
Security Tip: Passwords
Passwords are too often the weakest link when it comes to securing your confidential information. Good passwords should be a minimum of 8 characters with a mix of upper case and lower case letters, symbols and numbers. A password created from 26 possible symbols with a length of 8 characters is stronger than a password created from 96 possible symbols with a length of 5 characters. If we were to try 100,000 combinations per second it would take 24 days to break a password with a length of 8 characters created from 26 possible symbols. It would only take 23 hours to break a password with a length of 5 characters created from 96 possible symbols.
A good tip to remembering complex passwords is to think of a popular phrase, for example “To be or not to be, that is the question” then reduce it to the first letter of each word “Tbontb,titq” now change some of the characters to numbers and symbols “Tb0n2b,tit?”.
It is also a good idea to use different passwords for different websites and services. Password software can be used to help you keep track of your passwords such as www.lastpass.com.
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