The Secret Password

Do your passwords pass the test?

Now, more than ever, cybersecurity is essential as more and more of our lives are being stored online. From personal data to finances, your first line of digital defense is a secure password.

Here are some helpful tips from our Chief Compliance Officer and IT Manager, Tucker Morris:

DO use four or more words strung together in an uncommon order. It is also wise to insert numbers and symbols. This creates more levels of entropy (lack of order or predictability) which makes it harder for computer programs to hack. INSERT XCKD COMIC

DON’T use words or numbers associated with your personal life. This goes for your favorite books, TV characters, kids/pets’ names, locations, etc. Use common yet abstract words that will not be easily guessed by someone who knows you well.

DON’T write down your passwords (this also goes with sharing your passwords). You wouldn’t leave the keys to your house out in the open, would you? If you must write down your passwords, keep them in a secure safe place that few people have access to.  Definitely not on your monitor or under your keyboard. LastPass is a great app that helps you keep track of all your passwords. Check it out here: http://lastpass.com/

DO use two-factor authentication when possible. Though an added step, this secondary layer of protection can help keep you protected in case of a breach. Two-factor authentication requires a second verification through your phone, email or other method after log in.

DON’T reuse passwords. As tempting as it is to set the same password across multiple platforms or websites, should someone crack your password, they now have access to all of your accounts using the same code.

DO change your passwords on sites that have been affected by data breaches. To see which passwords are at risk due to exposure in data breaches, check out “Have I Been Pwned” website:   https://haveibeenpwned.com/

DON’T use common patterns like “12345” or “abcde”. According to the Gibson Research Corporation, “The #1 most commonly used password is “123456”, and the 4th most common is “Password.” So, any password attacker and cracker would try those two passwords immediately.” Check out their password space calculator to see if your password strategy is up to snuff. Just remember: DON’T use your own passwords on the site!

https://www.grc.com/haystack.htm

DO take advantage of the maximum number of characters allowed. The longer the password the more levels of entropy. Remember, you can always use an app like LastPass.com to securely store your passwords.

There are many more tips out there for creating a secure password strategy for your online life. Just remember to keep it inconsistent across platforms and lengthy – a phrase no English professor has ever said!

The opinions expressed herein are those of Morris Financial Concepts, Inc. and are subject to change without notice.

Morris Financial Concepts, Inc. is an independent investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. More information about Morris Financial including our investment strategies, fees and objectives can be found in our ADV Part 2, which is available upon request. MFC-18-03