We need to talk about your passwords again!

I thought everybody understood how important good password health is. But I was wrong. You see, people have to tell me their password sometimes. I’m trustworthy so that’s OK! I might be fixing something or setting something up when they aren’t there. I continue to be shocked at how weak some people’s passwords are. I know some of the reasons why. You can read my earlier post How to Escape Password Hell for some of the background.

It’s not just my customers, it’s everywhere. You might have seen this video before, it’s from the Jimmy Kimmel show in the US.

It’s a funny video. It would be even funnier if it wasn’t so frightening.

Is your password is your pet’s name (or your child… or your wife .. or your mother…), followed by a number like a birthday that you’ve probably posted on Facebook at some time? It is? Well, you have to change it NOW.  Especially if you use the same one everywhere.

I know it’s hard to remember them all, but what happens when one of the sites you’ve used gets hacked and your password is stolen by criminals… and you use the same one everywhere.

And it’s no real protection to say you only sign up for reputable sites because they get hacked too, just look at the recent stories about Equifax.

You can find lots of advice online about creating strong passwords. A popular one was first outlined in the online comic XKCD and has you combine several unconnected words. Just Google correcthorsebatterystaple if you want to learn more. Adding some capitals, numbers and other characters will help make this really strong.

I still prefer my solution outlined in How to Escape Password Hell. It shows you a way to make up an easy to remember, completely random password. Whichever method you choose you can then use your really strong password to secure a password manager tool. Then you can have a completely random password for every site you use.

So please, you need to take a good look at your passwords and get them sorted!