Thursday, November 08, 2012

NYTimes offers strong password tips and security practices (including travel)

Today, the New York Times has some pretty useful tips in an article by Nicle Perlroth, “How to devise passwords that drive hackers away”, p. B8, Business Day, link here

Some interesting observations are that a strong 14-character password (using special characters, all cases, letters and numbers randomly) should take 24 hours to crack. Others are to use nonsense answers to “security questions” and to use separate browsers for surfing and for critical business.

Use of password management systems can be double-edged, just as can using the “Cloud” for all your backups.  It’s a good idea to have physical copies of your data in more than one location, and to have printed or handwritten copies of your passwords.  Think carefully before traveling of how things can go wrong. 

There is even a recommendation to create passwords by “encrypted jamming” so that you don’t know it and could not be forced to turn it over to an intruder in case of a physical confrontation (as when carrying a laptop on the street or conceivably a home invasion).  That sounds like having a maximum daily withdrawal amount on an ATM debit card (good idea, unless...).  Hopefully these kinds of confrontations so far have been very rare in practice.  But some executives might need to consider them (at least in the movies).  

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