Friday, May 9, 2014

Password Security Information

This past week we have had at least 3 cases where an employee’s Gmail account was compromised and used to send email without the account holder’s consent or prior knowledge. 

Please take a few minutes today and check your Gmail account activity (directions below). If you see any account access from suspicious locations, change your password immediately and contact the help desk. We will help you do a through examination of all your Gmail Settings 

If you have a weak password (especially if you are still using mittyhs as your email password) please change your password immediately

When you change your password, you might want to think about using a pass phrase (e.g. ItWasADark&StormyNight) rather than a cryptic password (iwad$sn). Contrary to popular belief a longer, memorable password is actually more secure than a short, complicated password

You can test the strength of your candidate password at the Passfault site. Passfault will show you how long it would take a brute force attack to crack your password.

When you change your Gmail password, you will need to update the saved password in Mail on your Mac and/or iPad. 

Unfortunately, account and password security will continue to be a serious issue. Just as thieves may attempt to break into your home, cyber criminals will attempt to break into your accounts and digital spaces. Having a weak password is analogous to leaving your doors and windowed open when your leave the house. Using the same username and password at multiple sites is like passing out house keys to everyone you meet. We all need to diligent about keeping our accounts secure.

In the IT department, we all use a system called 1Password to create unique, complex passwords for our myriad accounts. I highly recommend itYou can watch a short video to get a sense of how using a password manager would help you.  We have purchased licenses for both your computer and iPad. If you are interested in getting started with 1Password on your own, please contact the Help Desk for instructions. If you would prefer more assistance, we will offer iPassword training session in the fall.

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