Data Protection – The Value of Good Password Policy
It is easy to overlook the necessity of good password policy when it comes to electronic devices. There are so many logins and so many things to remember that it can often seem overwhelming. This leads more than a few people to abandon the idea of having good passwords and maintaining them well enough so they don’t lose their data, identity or other vital information.
The truth is even though passwords can often be burdensome, there are numerous ways to craft a policy that not only makes things easier for individuals, but also enhances the protection of their mobile devices, computers, online accounts and data. Here are some things to consider when you are working on an effective and safe password policy.
Use a Power Pattern
If you use unique passwords for every device and site, the chances of losing access to one of them can be dramatically increased. You can’t afford to lose your data, so you should make certain you never lose the login credentials you need. Think of this as the first stop in a security guard checkpoint system. Once you’ve secured what you’re protecting, you will be able to take the next step.
A power pattern is an easily remembered letter and number series you can associate with information identifying the site or device you are using. For example, if you want to log in to a site called “chocolate” you could use a power pattern like abc-chocolate-abc. That’s a rather strong password. If you then want to log in to vanilla, you use abc-vanilla-abc. The pattern makes the password memorable. The change in site names makes it unique.
Use a Password Management App
Even if you use a power pattern, it never hurts to have some record of your passwords. This is where a mobile app or even a laptop or desktop application can come in quite handy.
The way a password management app works is by storing and encrypting a set of passwords and user names, then using a single master password to control access. On a mobile device, the app can then identify the application or site you are trying to access and insert the correct password for you. This kind of security app doesn’t absolve you from using good passwords, but it does make it far less likely you will end up locked out of your own data if you lose or forget the information for a site.
Change Your Passwords
No matter how many sets of login credentials you have, best practices dictate you should change them all at regular intervals. Old passwords become a larger and larger threat the longer you keep them. If someone were to gain access to a site using an old password, you can fix that problem by changing it.
Moving from site to site and changing your passwords also gives you a chance to check and make sure your logins haven’t been compromised. It is vitally important you not allow your logins to remain broken for long. Using some sites it can be possible to gain access to others. This is often a bigger security risk than anything else.
Good security policy pays for itself in the long run. By using power patterns, apps and an effective schedule, you can cut down on risk and make your data safer.
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