Lexicon Systems, LLC Blog

lex'•i•con: the vocabulary of a branch of knowledge. Thoughts on environment, health & safety (EHS), sustainability and information technology to support them.


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How good are your passwords?

A while back I facilitated a number of  environment, health & safety (EHS) software training sessions. Some of the trainees–mostly what I would call occasional users–needed instruction in computer fundamentals, including how to set a secure password. Some rules of thumb for what NOT to use as a password are

  1. don’t use your name or parts of it
  2. don’t use your pet’s name
  3. don’t use clever passwords like “password123” or 1234567
  4. don’t use your social security number, phone number or address
  5. don’t use common words
  6. don’t use the same password for multiple applications and/or Internet sites

… and the list goes on… When I mentioned rule no. 2, above, one of the trainees said, “Gee, now I have to change my password!”

A “strong” password is eight or more characters long and contains three or more of the following elements

  1. upper case letters (CAPITALS)
  2. lower case letters
  3. numbers
  4. special characters (e.g., $, #, ?, %, !)

Here is a great infographic, How hack-friendly is your password?