What's So Special About Passwords?

Almost every website has a username and password system in place, and they usually have some weird rules for making your password complex. What's the point? In some cases, those password systems make passwords so hard to remember that you'll just reset everything in a few weeks when you forget. To understand why these rules are in place, as well as ways to make things easier, here are a few password and login security details.

Password Complexity And Safeguarding Info

The main goal of password security is making a password that is difficult to guess or force through. Unfortunately, that seemingly simple goal has become more complex as password breaking/cracking techniques become more advanced.

Your passwords have to follow a certain set of guidelines to be complex, but compared to what? The baseline "bad" password is any word that appears in a dictionary, as the most basic brute force hacking tools will jam through those dictionary words without needing much thought from the hacker.

To add complexity, case sensitivity (capital letters and lowercase letters being different characters), the addition of symbols, and using numbers are often required. It's even better if you add multiple words together while adding non-alphanumeric characters to the mix, but unless you're used to the system, it's all hectic.

Making Password Policies Simple

Aside from password complexity, things get confusing when you're expected to use different passwords at different sites. No matter how complex your password may be, if your password is the same everywhere and becomes compromised at a website that doesn't handle security seriously or was the victim of a serious, password-exposing attack, all of your internet accounts will be compromised.

To combat the dangers of using the same passwords at multiple places while keeping your password memory simple, password managers can take a lot of the confusing work out of your hands. Password managers can store multiple passwords that you don't have to memorize if you don't want to, and the centralized security puts you in greater control of your accounts.

Although the system relies on a master password that could expose all of your other passwords, it's still safer than using the same password everywhere or using simple passwords. Password compromises are more likely the result of an attack on a website or an internet-based virus, while password managers are offline security centers that have their own defenses--even if you made a few mistakes by letting viruses onto your system.

To take control of your password policies, contact a password management and information security professional.

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Keeping Your Computer Clean

Computers get more and more portable with each new generation of equipment. Laptops, netbooks, and laptop/tablet hybrids are easy to pack up and bring with you anywhere. Unfortunately, that means that these computers are exposed to more hazards than their larger counterparts. Keeping your laptop clean and free of debris and spills is important to keep it running smoothly, but that can be more difficult than it sounds when you're working in a crowded coffeehouse. Take a look through this blog at some strategies for protecting your computer, keeping it clean, and doing damage control in the event of an unexpected spill or mess. Taking advantage of your computer's portability doesn't have to mean a shortened lifespan for your computer.