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2010: A New Year for Security


Dec, 31, 2009

The end of one year and the beginning of the next is always a good time for reflection, planning, and celebration.  It is also a great time to update your passwords!  The average home user may have upwards of 20 passwords to various websites and online services.  A company user could have the same amount, though usually a lower count due to the many single sign-on (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_sign-on) technologies that most companies utilize.  And while most people find the process of changing passwords a huge chore, it really is the only defense you have against unauthorized use of your information, especially on the web.

Here are some tips and tools for changing and choosing passwords:

1) Change all of your passwords at the same time and try to do it 4 times per year
2) Don't use the same password over and over
3) Don't use the same password for multiple accounts or websites
4) Pick the longest password you can use
5) Use a strong password, consisting of mixed letters and numbers and punctuation
6) Avoid using names or words that can be found in a dictionary

You can check the strength of your passwords at these websites:

http://www.microsoft.com/protect/fraud/passwords/checker.aspx

http://www.passwordmeter.com/

Stay safe and have a healthy and Happy New Year!

Phil Spitze
Network Manager

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