Lions and tigers and bears oh my!

The key to the door... A friend and I were chatting the other day and he pointed out to me that its not just that people use weak passwords,  and they do, but that they have a habit of re-using the same weak password that they use for posting on their ‘knitting’ site, as they do for banking.  Everyone looking at this must know that is a bad idea … so why do we still do it? Ease of use (aka its the password I can remember) is the only answer I can think of…

The good news is that older people seem to be okay remembering more passwords than younger… well sort of good news, if you are older anyway.

There are some interesting technologiesaround the place that hopefully will take off and in doing so make life easier from a point of view of numbers of credentials a person will have to remember. uProve for example has a great deal of potential to remove the need to remember multiple passwords, and then just strongly secure “one password (or form of proving who I am to any given system) to rule them all”… of course like the “one ring” it becomes “Precious” and the subject of greater scrutiny, so make sure you use a strong password where ever you use one.

Whilst we are on the subject, how many people have no password and run as admin on their home PC? Go and set a strong password for the administrator account right now!

imageWrite it down somewhere safe in case you forget it (no the post it note on the PC is not somewhere safe, put it in the same place you put your insurance household/documents).  You can also make the ‘bad guys’ job harder still by creating a separate standard user account (also with a strong password) for day to day activity, this is a lot easier on Windows 7 and Mac than it is under Vista (but still practical to do), but its very challenging for the average home user under XP.  Why do this, because it means that malware cannot trivially install unwanted software using your user privileges.

In the mean time, make the password you use for banking different from the one you use for ebay, from the one you use for paypal, from the one you use for IM, from the one you use to log on to the computer… think of it this way, you wouldn’t use the same key to your house as you would your car or your bank… would you?


One Response to “Lions and tigers and bears oh my!”

  1. […] Use Complex passwords and don’t have the same one for everything… they protect your data and if a single site you use […]

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