High profile computer hacking — and the damage it can cause — has been all over the news recently. To avoid being a victim, mark your calendars.
It’s a wise idea to follow the calendar year when changing passwords to your online sites, financial/banking sites and computer systems. We recommend you change these passwords at least once every three months. It’s also important you don’t reuse passwords or use the same exact passwords for two or more different resources.
If your social media account gets hacked, you don’t want the attacker also to be able to gain access to your Amazon and banking accounts simply because you used the same password for both sites. Maintaining separate passwords is a lot of work — but today’s cyber society demands it.
A good password will be composed of both lowercase and CAPITAL letters, numbers as well as symbols [such as: !@#$%^] Passwords for various sites should always differ, but they can be closely related. For example, you might use J@nu@ry1! for site A while using J@nu@ry1@ for site B. Remember also to store your passwords offline or use encrypted software to avoid password theft.
Need help in developing strong password policies? Give us a call at (703) 821-8200 and we’ll be happy to assist.
Alan Edwards, CISM, is chief information officer at Computerware, Inc., in Vienna, Virginia.