Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

Tag: Password Security

Better Password Practices

While you check the lock on the front door each night before bed, make sure your car alarm is set as you walk away and keep your wallet in a safe place – are you taking the same thought and energy into cyber security? Your passwords are the lock and key to information such as your social security number, bank account information, personal family photos and much more. By allowing yourself to lean on lazy passwords such as your favorite sports team or your dog’s name, not to mention using that password for multiple accounts, you are opening yourself up to a major security breach. Great Plains Communications has three tips to keep in mind to secure your personal information through better password practices.

  1. Use a password manager.

We have a lot of passwords. It can be daunting to think of remembering at least 8 characters for 8 different accounts. Whatever you do, DON’T USE THE SAME PASSWORD. We are all guilty of committing a few password sins, but this has to be the worst of all. Your Facebook gets hacked and what do you think that person is going to do next? BINGO: check your bank account, credit card, etc. with that handy password they just gained access to. By using a password manager programs such as 1Password or LastPass, you can create strong and unique passwords for all of your accounts and lose the risk of forgetting them.

  1. Use a passphrase.

We have entered the era of passphrases vs. passwords. Instead of throwing some numbers and symbols on the end of the month your first child was born, turn to random phrases to stay secure. By using a phrase, you add length and randomization. But don’t just string together a sentence about your life or a pop culture reference. Be creative! For example: “Plug Tricky Stapler.”

  1. Add two-factor verification.

Unfortunately, sometimes a password or passphrase just isn’t enough. You may notice accounts on social networks, banks, and even Google offering an added layer of protection called two-factor verification. What this means is you will need to put in your password but also a one-time code that is sent to your phone or email, or through an app like Google Authenticator. What this can also do is notify you if someone else is attempting to enter a password into one of your accounts.

Are You Making the Most Common Mistakes of Password Security?

We live in an increasingly hackable world, where you no longer need a piece of metal with unique notches and grooves to get into some of the most personal aspects of someone’s life. All you need is a password. Do you use the same password for everything? Is your password “123456” or “password”? These are common mistakes made by hundreds of thousands of people every day. Great Plains Communications wants to remind you that password protection is crucial to the safety of everything from your files and account information, to your Wi-Fi connection.

Here are a few common mistakes to keep in mind the next time you change your passwords (because you should be changing them, a lot).

  • Do not use the same password for everything. Just don’t.
  • Do not use your partner, child, or pet’s name, not even if there is a 0 at the end. The number isn’t hiding anything.
  • Do not use “123456”, “password” or “qwerty”. If you do, congratulations you have made the list of the most frequently used and easily hacked passwords.
  • Do not use your birthday. Facebook just notified me that it is today. Happy Birthday!

Just as you wouldn’t hand out the key to your home to just anyone, be wary when giving out any passwords or where you are writing them down. Where you store your password information is just as important as putting time into a secure choice. Ultimately, by changing your passwords often and keeping in mind the common mistakes above, you can increase the safety and security of your personal information and assets.

If you have questions about changing your Wi-Fi password or for more information, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.