“It’s not the security in your password that counts, it’s how the security surrounding your password works”, so says Tecchies chief technologist Gigahertz Graeme.
Tesco’s admission that it still merrily emails passwords to punters in plain text has alarmed anyone with a grasp of computer security. So how can we be sure that when we set up and use passwords they are secure AND that the services we are protecting with those passwords are being looked after to the highest standard?
If we get poor services from our online suppliers should we not be complaining? Should we not be moving our account? After all, it’s our wealth the online suppliers could be affecting.
Tecchies are always there to help companies with any ICT (Information and Communication Technology) problems that they may face, and the old chestnut of passwords rears its head again and again, but here is our 5-a-day survival guide.
1. Change your password every quarter (just like the seasons – if we have any, that is)
2. The password should NOT be a name, or word out of the dictionary and should include numbers and capitalised letters too.
3. Never trust friends or colleagues with the password, when the chips are down you will be the one carrying the fish!
4. Never ever have 1234 or ‘password’ or ‘password1’ when ‘password’ runs out, followed by ‘password2’.
5. Always have different passwords for different services and never the same password for all the services.
Now this all sounds complicated but if you stop and think for a minute about the consequence of not changing your password, then a change would be far more acceptable than all the hassle of trying to prove that it was not you that ordered 500Kg of German sausage to be delivered to your mother-in-law.