Saturday, June 2, 2012

Tips For Effective Password Management

By: Steven White

Before internet got popularity, keeping passwords safe was not a serious problem. But today whether it is a small standalone system or a computer connected to various networks, password management is something inevitable. For security reasons, we use multiple passwords for different websites and accounts and in order to remember and manage them, we all need password management tools.

Although there are several password managers available, you can consider the following tips as well in order to manage your sensitive information;

• Use a strong password which is hard to crack or guess. Hackers are all around you, ready to hack whatever they can find. Most vulnerable accounts are those which have weaker passwords like “12345678” or “password”. This is an unhealthy practice. When choosing a password, be very careful and include numbers as well as letters to your code.

• If you have multiple accounts, never use one password for all; if one account gets hacked, you will lose all accounts with that password. So, use different passwords for different accounts. And, if you find it hard to remember all of them, you can use some password management software.

• Don’t keep a password for more than three months; it is important to keep on changing your passwords. This will ensure maximum security. Again, if you forget to do it regularly, you can use password managers.

• Your passwords length should be at least ten to twelve characters. Shorter passwords are more vulnerable and can be guessed easily.

• Most risky and vulnerable password is that of your primary email account. It is important to keep it safe and never share it.
There are some unhealthy practices in regard to password management. Consider a few below;

• Using only letters or only numbers; good passwords are made up of upper case letters, lower case letters as well as numbers.

• Many people use their pet, spouse, children name as passwords; these are the words which are easiest to guess.

• Moreover, birthdates, phone numbers or any other important numbers also make up bad and insecure passwords

• Many people use the entire username as password; never do this, never even use any of your username in your password. Try to make it as different from username as possible.

• Do not use dictionary words as your passwords, because they too are too easy to guess.
Password Managers

If you find creating and managing passwords too difficult, you can use password management software programs too. They are tools designed to generate passwords, store sensitive information and keep regular checks as well. These applications can be downloaded on your device or can be used online through different websites. They encrypt your data and decrypt it when you have to view it. These applications provide one secure vault where you can keep all your passwords and data. Some programs can even notify you to change passwords periodically. For large businesses, password managers serve good purpose and make communication flow easier.
Keeping your passwords safe is too important to guard valuable information; so, select your code words wisely.