About Us | Contact Us
View Cart

The Core Pa$S^^ord!

By Dan Hadaway | Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - Leave a Comment

We’re supposed to use “unique passwords.”  This means that we can’t use the same password for everything.  We should use one for windows, a different one to log into the core, a different one for e-mail, a different one for the imaging program, etc.

We’re also supposed to use “strong passwords” (and yet not write them down.)  A strong password conforms to six factors:

  1. Upper case letters
  2. Lower case letters
  3. Numbers
  4. Special Characters
  5. At least 8 characters long
  6. No dictionary words

We’re not allowed to write passwords down.

I know, this seems nuts.  But the password is our front-line of defense.  And there really is a simple way to remember your passwords while keeping them strong and unique.

The best way to use unique, strong passwords without writing them down is to use what we call “the core password” approach.  This approach uses the same password, but a different password, for every account you have.

For example: let’s use the following as our core:

Manifesto –> [email protected]_st0

Then you use descriptors before or after the password to help you remember what it’s for. Such as:

•     [email protected]_st0

•     [email protected]_st0

•     [email protected]_st0

•     [email protected]_st0

•     [email protected]_st0

•     [email protected]_st0

•     [email protected]_st0

•     [email protected]_st0

•     [email protected]_st0

Of course, because of technical difficulties, it doesn’t always look like the above list. Some applications do not allow the six factors. So we really end up with something that looks more like this:

•     [email protected]_st0

•     Upperlower1 (for your core processor)

•     [email protected]_st0

•     [email protected]_st0

•     [email protected]_st0

•     [email protected]_st0

•     [email protected]_st0

•     [email protected]_st0

•     1834 (for your voicemail)

Yes, that voicemail code stands for Payton Manning, Walter Payton.  This could be a problematic voicemail pin if everybody knows that you follow Payton Manning and Walter Payton.  It would be better to use numbers that are not predictable, and stay away from using easily guessed pins like your birthday.

The descriptor scheme could be flipped for non-business passwords, but the “core password” should be different as well. It could be based on the first letters of a sentence, such as, “I use a different core password at home.” Something like: [email protected]

Then we have:

•     [email protected] _home

•     [email protected] _online

•     [email protected] _hotmail

•     [email protected] _yahoo

•     [email protected] _quicken

•     [email protected] _my

•     [email protected] _fb

•     [email protected] _youtube

•     22334

“What about amazon and itunes and such?” you may be wondering.  Unless you are a regular shopper, simply approach the issue knowing you intend to use the “forgot-your-password-feature” right under the yellow button on the sign-in page.

The core password is difficult to explain, but very easy to understand once you catch on.  It is a great way to use unique but strong passwords.

Let me know if I can help you come up with a few of your own core passwords until you catch on!

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.

Latest News
    Welcome Cybersecurity Conference Attendees! Thanks for joining us for the Cybersecurity Conference today! We have created this page for you to have access to the deliverables from Dan’s talk.  
    What you need to know for compliance coast-to-coast. Back in 2020 we posted an article containing links to data breach laws from each state, and it has proven to be one of our more popular posts.  Because laws surrounding the use (and abuse) of technology are always evolving, we thought it was worth taking another […]
    Why It Rhymes With SEEM (And its Not the I Before E Rule) Another one of those Dan’s New Leaf Posts, meant to inspire thought about IT Governance . . . . It’s the Gestalt. The idea that the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts. That’s not something that is often brought […]
    Another awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! Download the large versions here: Awareness Poster (Portrait) Awareness Poster (Landscape)   You are welcome to print out and distribute this around your office. Interested in one of ours […]
    Questions about China’s new disclosure laws only highlight the uncertainty about disclosure in general… An article review. China recently made waves in the security world by announcing a new set of data security laws, one of which has added new fuel to a long running debate: how and when should security vulnerabilities be disclosed…and to […]
    Four Conditions … …For Why a Network Can be Anything But a Network! Another one of those Dan’s New Leaf Posts, meant to inspire thought about IT Governance . . . . I have to admit that infotex is being called into engineering meetings with larger organizations these days that are NOT community based banks.  We […]
    Another awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! Download the large versions here: Awareness Poster (Portrait) Awareness Poster (Landscape)   You are welcome to print out and distribute this around your office. Interested in one of ours […]
    If Zero days need Zero clicks, are there any secure devices in the mix? Tanvee Dhir explores the Pegasus spyware. Another technical post, meant to inspire thought about IT Governance . . . . Introduction Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen multiple stories regarding a powerful piece of spyware called Pegasus sold […]
    Our Lead Non-Technical Auditor takes a look at the new AIO Guidance… Architecture, Infrastructure, and Operations (AIO) is the latest booklet released by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) in their line of  IT Examination Handbooks. It is an update to their 2004 Operations booklet and, as the name implies, expands into the areas […]
    Another awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! Download the large versions here: Awareness Poster (Portrait) Awareness Poster (Landscape)   You are welcome to print out and distribute this around your office. Interested in one of ours […]