There is nothing more important than password security in a world of technology. It is the first step to creating a safe and secure environment. If your password becomes compromised, there are limitless consequences to what could happen. There are a few very important factors in keeping your passwords safe and secure that everyone should adhere to.
Do not tell anyone your password
No one should every know your password; your bosses, your friends, or your bank. None of them should ever know your personal passwords. Any help desk, company, or organization will have administrators or technicians that can reset your password if they need to do something with your account. Organizations will never ask for your password over the telephone or e-mail!
Do not write your passwords down
The key to a good password is one that you can remember easily, but is hard to guess. It's very important not to write your password down. Hiding it inside your desk, a book, in a picture is just waiting for someone snoopy to find it. Some organizations will require the writing down of passwords, but generally these are Administrator positions and the password books are locked up in a controlled safe or secure location. Your boss shouldn't have all your personal passwords in his desk!
Be aware all the time
When you are entering your password at the computer, or at a bank machine, be aware of who is around you. If you think someone is trying to look at what you are typing, ask them to step back, turn their head, or cover up the keyboard or keypad with your other hand. If you think that anyone may have your password or has seen you enter it, change your password immediately.
Do not use the same password
Far too many people only use one password for everything they do, it makes it easier to remember, but compromises their security. If you use the same password for chatting on a web forum and your online banking password, you are just asking for trouble. Use unique passwords for different projects, websites, and logins.
Password complexity is a very important issue with most users. Often users will have small passwords that are very simple because they worry about trying to remember them. It's very important to have a password that is complex enough to stop people from guessing it, or using automated programs to randomly break it. I will outline good and bad characteristics of passwords below, along with some tips for creating passwords.
Creating a good password
Creating a good password is the key to your personal security. Keep these rules in mind when choosing your passwords:
A password should be over eight (8) characters in length.
Do not use dictionary words.
Do not use character substitution such as "l33t sp34k".
Do not user personal information
Do not use variations on your userid or login name.
Use both upper and lower case letters (a-z and A-Z)