The Need for Employees Who Think Like Hackers-Or Are Hackers

John Storts
Slide Show

Safe Password Tips

Five aspects of good password management that employees should know.

After reading through the US-CERT recommendations in Password Security, Protection and Management (available for free in our IT Downloads library), I'm on a mission: to corral all my passwords into a password management application. Between accounts for work and personal purposes, I count nearly 15 separate passwords for email, social media, instant messaging, problem tracking and online forums that I use on a regular basis. That's a lot of remembering to do.


Just like the US-CERT tips suggest, for example, I make sure I don't:

  • Use weak passwords, like "password" or my birthday
  • Use the same password across all my accounts
  • Write or share passwords with others


Rarely do I use public computers, so the risk of identity or data theft is low, and I've learned to use passphrases. But, the list grows even more unwieldy as I add accounts, and the temptation to break some rules gets irresistible.


Password manager software stores all your various passwords in one master-passphrase-protected location. This way you won't have remember so many passwords and won't resort to lazy password management, jeopardizing your data. I plan on using KeePass for my work data and Apple's Keychain system for my personal files.


As long as your master passphrase is soundly constructed - and you can remember it - using a password management tool can take the pain out of juggling so much information.

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