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Study Guide

Study Guide

 

What is a Secure Password and why do I need one?

††††††††††† As the amount of technology in our daily lives increases, we have to maintain a high level of security over our personal information.A common method of maintaining that security is through the use of passwords.As described by the Federal Information Processing Standards, a password is a sequence of characters used for authentication purposes to grant or deny access to data.

Without passwords, anyone anywhere in the world could access your personal information or worse, pretend to be you.Often users make the mistake of having a password which is too simplistic, and therefore easy to guess.A good technique is to use the same base password (preferably a combination of letters, digits, and special characters) for all sites, but prepend, append, or intersperse other characters specific to the site name.Fortunately there are guidelines available which explain what a secure password is.

 

How do I come up with a Secure Password?

††††††††††† Many people find it difficult to come up with a secure yet memorable password on their own.Fortunately there are various sources to aid in the creation of secure passwords.These programs are known as password generators.There are various types of password generators, ranging from those which generate random passwords to those which generate pronounceable passwords.Of course the primary flaw with using a generator for all your passwords is that all of your passwords would be tied to a single master password and generator, granting access to all of your protected files to anyone able to figure out these two bits of information.This is why it is often best to come up with passwords of your own.

 

I have too many passwords, what do I do?

††††††††††† One of the main problems people have is the ability to remember all of their various passwords.If you use a single password across the board you risk access of all protected documents via one word.One solution is to keep a separate record of the various passwords, which also has an obvious drawback.Fortunately there are companies which provide software which will remember your passwords for you.The primary drawback to such software is the inability to access password protected information when you are away from your personal computer.

 

What are some password vulnerabilities?

††††††††††† Unfortunately these precautions are not full-proof, they are merely a deterrent.There will always be people who are trying to view information they donít have access to.There is software available that is designed for password recovery, but which can obviously be used maliciously.Some passwords can even be found using popular search engines.There is also of course the constant threat of hackers breaking into your software and finding all of your passwords that way.