My bank recently sent me a document with “Techniques for creating strong passwords.” Reading through it my first thought was, “This would be great information for my colleagues.” Court reporters protect private, sensitive testimony, and with the use of DropBox and other FTP sites to send files, having a strong password is essential.
The suggested techniques are as follows:
- The longer the better. Your passwords should be eight or more characters in length.
- The greater the variety of characters, the harder your password will be to guess. Combine letters, numbers and symbols, including punctuation marks NOT on the upper row of the keyboard.
- Instead of using a word, consider converting a memorable phrase into a password. For example, “I have 2 puppies! Fido and Spot” could be expressed as Ih2p!F+S.
- Avoid using your login name or other identifiers. Any part of your name, birth date, or social security number (or similar information for your loved ones) could be among the first things cyber criminals will try.
- Avoid sequences or repeated characters.
- Don’t rely on look-alike substitutions of numbers or symbols. Malicious users will not be fooled by common look-alike replacements, such as “$” for “S” or “@” for “a.”
The tips make sense to me, which makes them easier to remember and implement. Having strong passwords is a part of being a great court reporter.