Passwords and Security

by Larry Emmott on May 5, 2011

in Security

 The Article linked below discusses password security for online accounts.

For business accounts, using a separate, unique password for each major service—and making sure that none of these passwords are the same as those associated with personal accounts—is essential.

Digital security has been in the news a lot recently with Sony and others under cyber-hack-attack.

Everything the article says is true and good advice. That is, use unique passwords for each account, use at least seven characters with a mix of numbers letters, upper and lower case and even symbols. Do not use the same password all the time and do not use the ever popular “password” or equally common “12345”. That is all good advice but it is all but impossible to follow.

Far more commonly in the dental office we follow the no-same-sticky protocol. That is there is either no password, everybody always uses the same password or the password is attached to the computer with a sticky note.

Actually we need passwords for two quite distinct issues; internal and external security. Internal passwords limit what practice data staff members can access or manipulate. Having good internal security is all about fraud detection and protection. External passwords are for online accounts like banks, suppliers, phone services, credit cards, e-services, labs and others. External security protects against unauthorized use by staff members and more importantly from roving cyber stalkers looking to steal your data or manipulate your account.

The good news is there are technology solutions to this technology problem. Password management tools are applications that generate strong passwords then keep track of the passwords and make them available to staff members in a secure (or at least more secure) fashion. The linked article mentions three options; 1 Password, Passpack, LastPass . A fourth one that I use is Roboform.

 via How To Protect Your Company’s Passwords : Technology :: American Express OPEN Forum.

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