By: Clarence Campbell, Round Rock ISD Information Security Officer
How often do you consider your cybersecurity before you click? No one is immune to cyber risk. You may be giving away the keys to your kingdom if you aren’t paying attention to your password habits. Having a strong password can be your best defense in the wake of unyielding attacks by cybercriminals.
- Identify your weak and duplicate passwords and replace them with unique and complex passwords. Use a minimum of 10 characters ( a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols) for each account.
- Use a password manager. A password manager stores secure password login information you use to access apps and accounts on your mobile device, websites, and other services. Find free and paid downloadable password managers. Before students or staff download a password manager or install software on any District device, please refer to the District’s policy for software approvals.
- Use of two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) when available. A standard implementation of 2FA/MFA is a password, and one-time code sent to your mobile device required to log in and access your account. Many major financial institutions use 2FA/MFA.
- Use personal information you share on social media, e.g., child or pet names, favorite sports team, important dates when creating passwords..
- Use the same password on multiple accounts. If accounts/passwords are compromised in a breach, attackers post your password on the dark web. Attackers on the dark web use your password to engage in password spraying techniques against financial, corporate, and government websites.
- Share your passwords and refrain from writing them down and keeping them near your computer.
Some experts recommend that you change your passwords every 90 days. National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is observed in October to ensure consumers have the resources they need to stay safe and more secure online. Don’t let the month go without updating your passwords to protect your digital kingdom.