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Techniques to Manage All of Your Passwords

 
 Good Password Tips and Password Management
 
                                         redacted by Richard Rossbauer

 These days a single computer user can have dozens of passwords. If there are computers at your job you may have 3 or 4 passwords to log on to your local system,
a database or even a secured room

Though many people don't require a logon for their home PC, they will definitely have one for email and various online accounts. Here is a guide to assist you in strengthening your passwords and password techniques.

          
After reading this article you will know the following:

                               How to make good passwords
                               Good password practices
                               Techniques to manage all of your passwords


                        
How to Make Good Passwords

                            Choose a password with the following:

                              At least 8 characters in length
                              1 number
                              1 special character
                              Upper and lowercase.

Passwords with difficult combinations make it harder for tools like L0phtcrack, Brutus,
 John the Ripper, Cain and Able and other password crackers to decipher your password.

When creating a password, don't use personal information such as birthdays, children names, last and first names. Avoid using words or phrases that can be easily guess or cracked with a "dictionary attack." Do not use the same password on the different systems. If you work in a classified environment, passwords should be treated at
the same level of classification at the systems they protect.


                               
Good password practices

Never share your password with ANYONE including your Administrators, Help Desk personnel or System Administrators. IT professionals at your job or Internet Service Provider (ISP) will not normally ask you for your password. If they do need it then you should give it to them in person and ensure you change it as soon as they are done with their task. A common "Social Engineering" tactic is for malicious hackers to call you pretending to be from your computer support staff.

Another tactic is to have trusting users email the password or type it into what looks like a legitimate site, this is known as "phishing."

Be aware of your surrounding when your are typing your password. Watch for "shoulder Surfing" or people watching what you type as you are entering your password.

If you use the web to access critical information (such as online banking, or medical information) ensure that the site uses some type of secured method of encryption. You will know this if the site's URL begins with an "https." SSL and Secure HTTP are sometimes indicated by a tiny lock in a corner of the page.

If their is no encryption then it may be possible for unauthorized users to view and/or capture the data you enter. And later access the account.

It is best to memorize your passwords. If it is difficult to memorize all your passwords read

               
Techniques to manage all of your passwords

It is best to memorize all of your passwords however if you have literally scores of passwords from work, home, online business ventures and the bank and you do not have a photographic memory, you may want to write them down.
 
If all, or most of your passwords are used a home, writing them in a journal or small loose leaf binder can provide a double sense of security.

First, they'll be readily available if your memory fails you and Second, should you experience a hard drive crash or other loss, you'll be able to reload and initiate your favorite programs if you also include your CD (program exe file) Security Key numbers with your passwords.

keep passwords in safe off site journal

Author of Beyond Fear, and system security phenomenon, Bruce Schneier recommends writing down passwords and putting them in your wallet as does Senior Programmer for Security Policy at Microsoft, Jesper Johannson.

Another management techniques is to allow Windows (and other Operating Systems) to automatically fill in the data. This is great for trusted SECURE environments such as home systems in which you don't need to hide any account information from anyone, but not such a good idea for the work environment.

 

It should also be noted that systems without a high level of Internet security (firewalls, updated patches, etc) should not use the auto fill features as the passwords are many times stored on the system in cleartext making it easy for malicious code such as spyware, trojans and worms to steal your passwords and account information.

 
SO, the Question then, is "How Safe are Your Passwords?"

This
is a call to action to read the Vipre Security Company post –"Does Your Password Pass the Test?", and get some more expert guidance on creating your own Strong passwords.

When was the last time you reviewed your passwords? Maybe now's the time to take a new look. TRY THIS TEST >> http://howsecureismypassword.net/


You will be astounded - well, at least Surprised!

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Richard started his "Firewalls and Virus Protection" website and "Security Alert News Reporter" to help everyday Internet users navigate safely through the Cyber Space that has become a 'Cyber Jungle', loaded with ambushes and booby traps. He promotes his "Computer Security Awareness Campaign" thru his website at http://www.firewalls-and-virus-protection.com

Please help us educate and protect the unwary by sharing this article. Reprint it if you have a newsletter, website or ezine. Copy or print it to give to your friends. It may be used at will so long as no edits or changes are made to the content and links, and the full attribute box is included. We'd appreciate a short note telling when and where you have posted it. Thank you....Richard (mailto:Richard@firewalls-and-virus-protection.com)

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