Password123 and Other Common-Sense Anomalies

We continue to be amazed at the utter lack of common sense some people have when choosing strong passwords. Even if you satisfy all the algorithms for an allegedly strong password (upper- and lower-case letters, numerals and special characters), you may leave hints that make all too easy to crack it. Here are some factors to be aware of.

We believe the most important thing anyone has to understand is that nobody – absolutely nobody – is not on the internet. Obviously, you’re an online regular if you’re reading this, but even somebody who has never owned a computer or has paid for everything only in cash has an online profile. Birth certificates, census reports and immigration records from over 100 years ago are available online. Have you ever seen a security question (not one you’ve chosen and answered falsely) that asks about an old, old address of yours or a sibling?

Based on all the available information about you, it defies my logical definition of common sense to know why an attorney uses lawyer123 – or even lawyer123! – as a password. If you promote your profession or business on a website and somebody wants to crack your personal info, they’ll likely try using your profession – with 1234 and a special character.

Use common sense as well as technology’s tools to both make your life convenient and more secure. You can start with a password manager, such as Dashlane, which requires you to know only one really strong, difficult-to-crack password. You use that password to use the password manager, and the program generates random passwords that have no connection to you, your hometown or your first pet.

When you use a GPS system to go someplace, are you always aware of your surroundings in case something just doesn’t look or feel right? Common sense should tell you that you might not be in the right neighborhood or that the system’s algorithms are telling you to make a left turn where you can’t or to go the wrong way on a one-way street. Technology is an imperfect tool. It’s up to you to make sure you have the latest version of your technological tool, which we hope will have fewer imperfections.

Common sense will be society’s best defense in combating the way technology can spread disinformation and misinformation. This is not a political statement. Disinformation and misinformation have been used since before the printing press, but today’s technology makes it much easier to create and distribute words and images. There is no technological tool for critical thinking.

However, we can help you with the tools that can help you enhance your online security and your life. Call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us with any questions you have about better living through technology. It makes sense to be up to date.