Password Protection? It’s as easy as 123456!*
* Disclaimer: The proprietors of IT Support LA, its website and any subsidiaries or affiliates are in no way recommending the use of “123456” as an actual password, because it’s just plain stupid.

This information is valuable to everyone, from consumers with iPhones and laptops to those protecting the network infrastructure of a business. Your network password is golden to hackers. It is the key that unlocks the vault. It is access to all of your company’s and your clients’ private information.

Do’s and Don’ts of Strong passwords:

  • DO NOT treat them casually!
    Once you learn the simple basics, you’ll be able to generate quality passwords instantaneously.
  • DO keep them a secret!
    As an IT Provider, we cannot even count the number of times we have seen the password written on a post-a-note, and stuck to the front of the workstation or server it unlocks.
  • DO NOT use the same password for everything.
    We know, it’s a pain to remember them, but once hackers have your password, they will try it on every login you have. We will show you how to generate them quickly, and if you must have a reminder, a single word on a post-a-note will suffice to jog your memory.
  • DO NOT create a folder or file in your documents marked ‘Passwords’.
    If you are smart, and use different passwords for everything, once hackers get in, they’ll find it and crack all of your other accounts and logins.
  • DO make passwords that mean something personal to you.
    They will be easier to remember and harder for hackers to guess.
  • DO NOT create short passwords.
    Hackers use software to randomly generate possible password combinations. A 6 character password is making it way too easy for them;
  • DO NOT keep a password for too long.
    Some sites insist it be changed regularly, but the longer you use a password, the less secure it becomes. If hackers are targeting you with Phishing emails, they will learn things about you from social media (yes, they DO go that far), and it will make their password guesses more informed.
  • DO use a Password Manager
    There are many apps available to store your passwords. Use one, and you will have only ONE password to remember – and it had better be a strong one!

Tips For Creating Strong Passwords:

1) Intersperse symbols, numbers, lower and upper case characters. Some fairly common ways to ‘shake things up’ are to use @ for the letter ‘a’, $ 0r the number 5 for ‘S’, & for 8 or the number 0 for the letter ‘O’ -  or vice versa for any of those.  Create simple rules for yourself, like the letter O will always be a zero (0), and a zero will always be a lower case letter ‘o’.

2) Create sentences about your life, then use only the first letter of each word:
Example: “I married my loving wife (or husband) on August 23 08 in Santa Monica California” becomes “ImMLw0&23o&i5Mc”. It looks like gibberish, but if you set your own rules, as in 31 above, and follow them, it will become child’s play to create them and remember them.

3) Use the same rules with a favorite quote: something you will always remember;
The quote “Time is nature’s way of keeping everything from happening at once, by John Archibald Weaver” becomes “TiNw0kefh@0Bj@w”.

4) Do it like wartime code creators RE: ‘”The Key to Rebecca”
Take any book in your office at home, start the password with the page number, then choose the first, last, or third etc., letter of each line as your password. Forgot the password? Grab the book, flip to the page and enter your password.
This can also be done with the word balloon in a favorite cartoon panel you have stuck to your bulletin board:

NOW YOU’RE READY! Have fun and create strong passwords!

It Support LA is pleased to hold FREE trainings for office users to not only bolster their password creation, but on how to spot Phishing emails, scam websites and the entire gamut of ploys that hackers use to worm their way into your system: