|From the Kenosha News on 4-10-05
Be Strong when Choosing Passwords
Recently, I got an e-mail with a link to Microsoft TechNet's "10 Immutable Laws of Security." Law #5 is "Weak passwords trump strong security." (You can find this and the other nine laws at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/archive/community/columns/security/essays/10imlaws.mspx) Let's talk about passwords a little. Think of the various items that you may have passwords for: e-mail, Ebay, Amazon, Instant Messenger, accounts at work, your internet service provider, your on-line banking service, and so on. That's a lot of passwords to choose and remember. How can you make sure you don't choose "weak" passwords?
First, let's define "strong" passwords. Actually, that's a real computer techie term. Microsoft encourages the use of strong passwords when setting up their server software, and they define them as:
Think of your various passwords. How many of these rules do they break?
In addition to the above, other guidelines for good passwords include:
If you're now thinking that you're terrible with your password(s), check out this link to the Human Firewall project and look at the top 10 security mistakes made by individuals. Of course, not all are related to passwords. http://www.humanfirewall.org/issues.htm#top10. Hopefully, you haven't done many of those!
For another useful article about passwords, as well as articles on a plethora of useful computer topics, look at AARP's Technology How-to Guides at http://www.aarp.org/learntech/computers/howto/.
By Carol Sabbar from the Kenosha News on 4-10-05