If you’ve been following my recent set of posts about passwords then I hope you now know a few of the choices that will leave your computer compromised in seconds should you be targeted.
You should also be aware of some of the other common password mistakes that many people make.
Add to that, some tips for creating effective passwords, and you should be well on your way to having a reasonably secure system.
However, you can never know too much when it comes to internet security, especially where your own personal passwords are concerned.
Luckily for you then, I have 5 more tips -
1. KEEP PASSWORDS CONFIDENTIAL
Keeping your password to yourself is the first step towards ensuring your security.
It doesn’t matter how many tips you’ve read, if you give your password out to other people then you may as well not bother using one.
As soon as you share your password with just one person you have compromised your system as you have absolutely no control over what they do with that information.
If you have absolutely no choice but to share a password, for instance because you need a technician to fix a problem with your system, then change that password to something else just as soon as you can afterwards.
2. DO NOT USE SHARED PASSWORDS
Scenarios where multiple users have the same password are far from desirable and should be avoided wherever possible.
Having users share a single password in this manner can cause headaches later on.
For example, if there is a security breach then how are you going to determine which user was responsible for it?
3. IF YOU REALLY MUST SHARE A PASSWORD…
Of course there will be a few rare occasions where you may need to share a password with someone else.
For example, I had to get a tech to access one of my websites a couple of months ago and my hosting company wouldn’t even give access to my password to him which is, of course, a good thing.
After he had finished working I followed my own advice and changed the password immediately.
Of course I was careful of how I delivered the password to him – email, internet messengers and web-based chatting clients are all insecure to varying degrees.
Instead, I contacted him via the published telephone number for my host, thereby ensuring I was speaking to whom I thought I was.
Additionally, I called on my land line rather than my cell phone as the latter is less secure than the former.
4. DON’T USE THE SAME PASSWORD TWICE
If you use more than one computer then have different passwords on each.
If you visit multiple forums, chat rooms, or other sites that require a password then use a different one for each.
If someone acquires one of your passwords then it would be very easy for them to try and use it to gain access to other computers, sites or services that they may think you use.
5. CONSIDER USING A PASSWORD MANAGER
Password managers are something I’ll come back to in a future post as they are not something I am particularly informed about right now.
You could, however, probably keep a file of all your various passwords on your computer.
Normally this would be quite insecure and not recommended but I’m sure that file could probably be both protected with a master password and encrypted too if you are savvy enough to work out how to do it.
Can any of you guys comment on that and how safe a practice it may, or may not, be?