To prevent security breaches, teachers need strong passwords

Posted on Monday, 3/11/2013 5:03pm

Whether educators are using faculty software or trying to gain access to a student database, they may require a password before they can go any further. However, as passwords provide a barrier between private information and those who wish to use it or distort it for personal gain, teachers and other school officials need to make sure they have chosen strong passwords.  

If teachers want to keep important information safe, they should create passwords that crafty individuals will not be able to guess. Here are a few tips educators may want to put to use when creating good passwords:

Avoid common passwords
No matter how original people think their passwords are, they should think twice before they settle on one combination of letters and numbers. According to a PasswordGenie infographic, "123456," "password," "princess," "abc123" and "rockyou" are some of the most common passwords.

In the case of password breaches, 30 percent of these incidents involve passwords that contain less than six characters, while 40 percent only use lowercase letters. The infographic points out that if a password is easy to remember, it is also easy to crack. For this reason, teachers will want to come up with a combination of words and letters that is hard for them to remember, as this will be harder for people to figure out.

If teachers are concerned about the strength of their passwords, they should get a second opinion without having to give it up to a friend or family member. There are several online tools that allow people to learn how good of a job they did creating their password. For example, they could visit passwordmeter.com or Microsoft's Safety & Security Centre.

How to create a strong password
When it comes to creating strong passwords, there are a few steps teachers should consider. For example, Business Insider suggests they go beyond the minimum requirement for password length and make them long. The more characters that are used, the less likely people will be to guess each one.

Once teachers settle on a password, they should not get too comfortable with it. Not only does the news source suggest not reusing the same password for multiple accounts, but changing them a few times a year as well. Of course, there is no way to completely stop hackers from striking, but following these steps will at least give educators the peace of mind knowing they have done what they can to keep private information secure.

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