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Boo!: Scary Passwords?

ghostHappy Halloween! As we close out National Cybersecurity Awareness Month Exit Disclaimer, it’s important to talk about cybersecurity attentiveness. We may know the importance of keeping our professional and personal information secure and adhering to the latest cybersecurity guidance. We may also take cybersecurity training and use antivirus and antimalware tools.

But do we manage our  passwords appropriately? We will be posting more on this topic—including various perspectives on when and how often to change your passwords–but in the meantime, we wanted to share some advice that one of our AIDS.gov team members shared with our team. Here are 4 tips for setting or re-setting your account passwords:

  1. Use longer passwords. Use at least 8 characters, and more are better. Even if your organization only requires 6 characters, use more if you can. For example, Jij2016# is good, but Jijoo2016! is better.
  2. Don’t use repetitions of current or previous passwords. Choose a completely unrelated password. For example, if your password is Torx111?, don’t use torx111? or Torx112? or torx1111?
  3. Don’t use passwords you’ve used on other accounts. For example, if your Gmail password is BBBairs16!, don’t use that same or a similar password for your work email account or your Amazon or Facebook accounts.
  4. Don’t use words that you can look up in the dictionary. For example, instead of using Beagle44%, make up words (Bespark44%), blend words (Behound44%), use a phrase (Beadog44%), etc.

Be safe!

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