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Sticky Notes are Not Secure

Sticky Notes are Not Secure

We all have too many passwords and it's hard enough to keep track of them...but to have to invent new, "good" ones every time they expire is a frustrating exercise. Befuddled by the complexity requirements set by your employer on your network login, or concerned that your password is too easy to guess? Not to worry! Here’s a quick and easy way to create strong passwords that will be hard for others to guess, but easy to remember.


The key elements of a strong (ie complex) password are to have a string of characters that is not a simple word (like dog or cat) or your name (Bob or Sue). Also, avoid your birthday, anniversary, children’s or pets names or any other word or number set that is easy to identify with you.


The strongest passwords (and hardest to crack) combine letters (upper and lower case), numbers and the other symbols into a memorable phrase. The goal is to create a secure password that is easy to remember, so it won’t end up on a sticky note on your display or under your keyboard.


One way to immediately strengthen your password without making it impossible to remember, is to add various non-letter characters:


Weak: bobsmith


Add caps and symbols: !BobSmith#


Add numbers and an underscore: !Bob_Smith#1


Much harder to guess --still not so hard to remember – and harder for hacking tools to crack.


Another option is to pick a word or phrase and replace a few letters with other characters:


ILikeCats à IL1k3C@t5


GhostHunters à Gh0stH%ntr3


Again, pretty easy to remember after you type it a few times, but hard to guess, and strong protection against password cracking tools.  So, update your passwords and throw out those sticky notes!



Rob is the CTO of Beringer Technology Group, and focuses his efforts on software development, cloud engineering, team mentoring and strategic technical direction. Rob has worked with Beringer since 2005, and has influenced every department from Development, Security, Implementation, Support and Sales. Rob graduated with his MBA from Rowan University in 2012, earned his Bachelors of Computer Science in 1997, and is current with several Microsoft technical certifications. Rob is very active, and loves to mountain bike, weight train, cook and hike with his dog pack.

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