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July 10, 2018
April 18, 2017

The Password Two-Step, a Dance You Should Learn

Sheila Grosdidier

Please take a moment and think – when was the last time you changed your password? Everyone has a friend, family member or client who has shared their tale of cyber horror in having their bank account, Facebook, (fill in the blank) hacked into and the time and resources it took to restore life to normal. From all those stories of techno-security mayhem, you still aren’t considering that the three minutes it takes to update your password is a good return on your time investment?

Here are some tips to improve your password security:


  1. Crack it? Put in your password and see how long it takes to have it broken. You can even use this free tool to check out how strong your password is.

  2. Do the Two-Step – Many banks, email, credit card and sensitive information housing sites are recommending users to enable the 2-Step verification. This additional layer of security allows the use of a password you know along with something that you have, such as a code sent to your cell phone. This secure additional step prevents someone who may know your password from accessing your account unless they also have your other device. If they have both, you have more than just password issues – someone has stolen your phone.

  3. Come up with a system – There are a host of ways to create a strong password and be able to recall it for use. One of these ways is called the Bruce Schneier’s Method. Take a sentence that you will remember and abbreviate and meld the words together to form a password. Here is an example:

    - Start with a sentence

    Because Chocolate Understands

    - Take out a few vowels and you get


    - Now swap out some letters with special characters


    - Let’s add number or two


    Now that's a strong password!

  4. "There’s an app for that" – It’s nearly impossible to remember all the passwords you have for every site. And, no, do not use the same password for the majority of your accounts. If there is a breach in security, you made it easier for them to access multiple accounts. There are an abundance of password storage sites that make it easy to log into your account and while you are online, your passwords are readily supplied to the sites you visit. LastPass allows users to store and generate secure passwords and autofill forms.
  5. Change them regularly – The longer a password is used, the greater the chance that it will be found out or broken. Put a note in your calendar to remind you to update passwords. Make it a habit or set up a password program like 1Password that will prompt you to stay up-to-date on your passwords.
  6. Rinse and Repeat, NOT – Don’t use the same password over and over. This activity is leading to higher levels of fraud. Be sure to change a password if you have allowed someone access to your computer.

Follow these 6 steps and you can dramatically reduce your risk of having personal data accessed. You will be glad you did!

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