Court Little | April 03, 2012
Instead of the usual Top 5 security tips, such as “use a strong password,” my goal with this blog series is to list and breakdown the basics of what you should be doing, but probably are not, and are exposing yourself because you’re not.
Part 1 will look at passwords...probably the easiest mistake.
1.) Mnemonic Passwords – Actually, let's start off with using strong passwords. Everyone knows to use a strong password, and they should use a unique password for each site they visit. However, few people do this. And those few that do typically use a password manager tied to their desktop with a browser plug-in to make submitting those complex passwords easier, or they keep them stored in an associated password storage application on their smart phone. But there is a simpler solution, and its mnemonic passwords. Mnemonic is a technique used to aid memory. Since complex passwords are hard to remember creating a mnemonic password can help ensure you have strong passwords unique to each site you visit. There are many good sites that will help you teach you to create a mnemonic password. Druid has a really good presentation that can show you how to get as complex as you want with the topic at: http://druid.caughq.org/presentations/Mnemonic-Password-Formulas.pdf
My advice is to take thirty minutes to create your own mnemonic password formula, create a formula based on the site you are visiting and reap the rewards of secure passwords forever. Basing it on the site you are visiting ensures you can reverse engineer the mnemonic password quickly. For instance you could take the site name, count up the letters in the name, use that number as the first digit in the password, then spell the site name backwards, followed by the number in special character format plus whatever else is in your formula, like a salt or whatever you want to ensure you have a sufficiently long password. So visiting eBay would become: 4yabe$fr@k where fr@k is my own added salt.
Stay tuned for the next part of this blog series on security basics that you should be doing!
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