How To: Secure Your Computer in 5 Minutes or Less
Entrepreneurs, when it comes to your venture, security is a priority. Your network, documents, and even your smartphone needs to have security setup in order to protect you, your contacts, and your valuable information. As part of our mission to contribute to the community of entrepreneurs and innovators in the Northeast, our very own web application developer, Tim McHugh, will be on hand every other week to share with you some of his favorite tips and tricks for managing your gadgets. Tim loves technology and how it enables society to share and spread ideas. You can connect with Tim by emailing Tim-at-freeyourdata.net.
How good is your password? Most users of the web already have an idea of how good their passwords are. In fact, most websites/services these days, usually enforce certain criteria for valid password creation during the user registration process.
Therein lies the problem. A typical user understands what is minimally acceptable to get them through the registration process.
I do believe that technology is here to improve our quality of life. This is what inspired me to study engineering. One of my biggest interests is held in software that is powerful, yet easy to understand and use. Most notably, Apple has pioneered this ‘ease of use’ approach and with a market share looming around 22% (and expected to grow), they have proven that ‘less is more’ when it comes to the complexity of a system. While Apple intends to make security easy, there are still a few hoops to jump through in order to make sure that things are completely safe. As for other operating systems, the process of securing your documents and accounts can be slightly more complex, but still achievable.
As with any measure of security in your life (locking your car, buying insurance, etc.), keeping your electronic identity safe can be easily implemented with the following mindset: hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
- Passwords are the first line of defense;
- Mobility increases your risk to loss and theft;
- Thieves are not typically the most sophisticated users, but they do know how to double-click a mouse. The internet is full of free and easy-to-use software that is specifically designed to break a weak password.
5 Minute Solution:
Step 1: Create
Choose a phrase, sentence, or lyric of a song. E.x.: “You should really make a strong password!”
Then, transform it by removing spaces, and replacing characters with similar looking numbers and punctuation -a style known as ‘Leet Speak’:
Part of creating a good password lies within checking to make sure that it is strong enough to withstand attacks. While no password is guaranteed, there are a few strategies that you can use in order to discourage a hacker from attacking your machine. This Password Strength Checker is really useful and clear.
Step 2: Implement
This Microsoft website is a great destination for detailed information on creating a strong password for your system.
- Mac OS X:
Open Keychain and click Password. From there, the system can walk you through the process.
Over to You:
Have any tips from your own technique to share? Leave them in the comment section below!
Passwords are just the first layer and are by no means a way to keep your system 100% secure. In fact, even the strongest password just slows the attacker down and encourages them to move on to an easier target. However, the could always come back to compromise your system. Stick with the series for more insight on protecting your documents and accounts.