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By Dan Hadaway | Tuesday, March 30, 2010 - Leave a Comment

Passwords are free!

We’re lucky because as an employee of a bank we’ve been trained on the “controls” we can use to protect ourselves.  But we have to use them!  Let’s be sure to apply everything we’ve learned to keep us safe at work towards keeping us safe in the social media!

  • We know what a strong password* is because we work at a financial institution.  LET’S ALWAYS USE THEM.  We don’t use good password management at the financial institution because we want to inconvenience ourselves, right?  We preach it as a strong control.  If we use weak passwords on our social media sites, somebody could cause a lot of embarrassment.
  • We know how important it is to use strong anti-virus awareness at the bank.  We don’t open attachments we’re not expecting.  If the anti-virus application throws up an error, we know to take it seriously.  We need to translate that same thing to our use of own computer systems as well as our use of social media!
  • We know to “authenticate” callers and e-mailers and even vendors coming into our branches.  We must take this same approach to people “friending us” in these social media sites!

* I am compelled to re-identify what a strong password is:

  • A strong password is a password that has six characteristics:
  • Upper case text
  • Lower case text
  • Numbers
  • Special Characters
  • At least eight characters long
  • No dictionary words!

That last one (no dictionary words) is very important.  A password like “America#1” meets five of the six factors, but because “America” is in the dictionary and can thus be guessed in less than 20 seconds by “cracker” software, America#1 is not a very strong password . . . it is only three characters long.

Remember:  the reason we need to use strong passwords is to buy time in the event of a security breach.  If there is a compromise of our “network perimeter,” the bad guys can not do anything until they have a password.  If you are not using strong passwords, then you will be the weakest link in our chain!

Click here for more information about User Awareness Training.

Infotex Team

Intended Use:

The purpose of Vigilize is to respond to ISO’s complaints that users never read ISO’s “ongoing security awareness training reminders.”  Our tweets are designed to be copied into the subject line of your awareness reminder, with the language on these pages put into the body.  The goal is that the user will have to read the subject line to know to delete the message, and if they understand the subject line the reminder is communicated.  If not, they will go into the message and read the reminder.

Feel free to use Vigilize in your own Security Awareness Program.  Let us know if you have any ideas, suggested tweets, or ways to improve this FREE service.

Posted in Vigilize

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