GFAQ-5 What is a good password?

Welcome to the 5th edition of Gary's frequently asked questions. This week we’d like to thank Gary’s Mother, Joanne, for allowing us to create a series of answers to some of the questions she has asked us for help with from our time as her company’s external IT support specialists. We'll take it from here, thanks, Joanne.

“What is a good password?”

 Well, we’re glad you asked Joanne. The truth is, there’s really no such thing as a completely secure password. A lot of password security failure falls under basic human error; post-it notes with passwords on them, writing your password down and losing the paper, using default password/login details, etc.

There are however quite a few ways you can go about making your password more secure. First of all, make it completely irrelevant to yourself and your family. Having the password be something that is out of the ordinary is good practice for a more secure password. It’s no good setting your password to your daughter’s date of birth or your favourite football players name!

You can use things that are familiar, but you need to change the details to be more secure. As standard, you should use more than 8 characters in your password (triumph1) and it should also include a combination of letters (tr1umph1) and numbers, plus make use of capitalisation and special characters. (T71Umph1*). See how our password evolves?

The reason you need a longer password, with a mixture of capital letters, numbers and special characters is so that criminals cannot simply ‘brute force’ your password to gain entrance to your account. This is where they guess login details based around personal information they have on you or use special programs that will repeatedly try to log in over and over with a database of the most commonly used passwords until they get a match.

Still with us Joanne? Great. So, by setting your passwords to one with a little extra zing, you can stop most criminals from gaining entrance to your account. The harder you make it, the more likely they are to find a different target...but don’t forget to keep your password secure. Avoid clicking on suspicious links, spam emails, that sort of thing.

 “Way ahead of you! My inbox has a spam filter. That’s how it works right?”

 Something like that Joanne, but that sounds like another GFAQ in the making. We'll answer this question (and many more, we're sure...) next time.

 In the meantime, if you or your IT department are looking for assistance with your IT services, consider giving us a call like Joanne and outsourcing to one of our experienced IT  consultants. We can even be your IT department if you don't have one. External or on-site, find out what AAG-IT can do for your IT services today on 0114 352 0688.