As an IT professional I get to sympathize with a large number of people that don’t like the fact that are required to change their passwords. Seeing as I am a user myself, I understand the frustration and agree that it is not always a pleasant experience.
This doesn’t change the fact that IT professionals need to enforce such policies and practices to protect the companies they work for and the coworkers they call friends and teammates. I can say that we view a software or network user as our client. With all the stories of fraud and identity theft, it is our moral responsibility as an IT professional to take these measures.
I would like to share a few tidbits that may help you in this situation.
- Don’t use a simple password. Your first name or last name with a number after it is not very secure. It is one of the first items someone trying to access your account will use. For this same reason your children’s or pets name or falls into the same category.
- Change the default password provided. It is too common for someone to purchase a wireless router for their home and leave the admin level password to be what came out of the box. Quite often this is simply a word like “default” or “password”. If this is the case anyone with be able to access your hardware by performing a simple search on Google to find out what the default password is.
- One piece of advice I often provide is for people to use a pattern that only they would know. This helps simplify the process of remembering your passwords that require change. An example would be for a wine lover to use incorporate their passion for wine into their password schemes. For example combining the favorite vineyard and variety with a good year for that wine. Don’t forget to include that special character for complexity of the password. An example would be Mondavi2015* or Merlot2012@
- There are some options that offer a Single Sign-On service. This will help consolidate various logins to the same account you login to your PC with. This can work well for individual users, but if you are looking to for a solution such as this to integrate with your company logins, I highly suggest talking to your IT service provider first. CDH does have a solution for companies that are looking for such a solution. As I tell my 11 year old who is really starting to explore her usage of the computer, there are very few precious things in life that are free. I am fairly certain that applies to most everything on the Internet and I would be wary of any free app or service that provides a free utility for individual usage.
My hope in writing this is that the next time you are forced to change your password or create a new one with some complexity, that you will keep the items from this article in mind. And please don’t take it out on your IT professionals – we are just looking out for your safety. In the end we are really trying to take the precautions necessary to protect the people we care about. If you or your company need IT assistance, please email me.