SOME THOUGHTS ON PASSWORDS
- Never share or store passwords in your computer.
- Use two-step verification when possible, which makes use of something you know (your password) and something you have (for example, a code that is sent to your phone). The account can't be accessed without both.
- Use symbols as well as upper- and lowercase letters, spaces, and numbers. The more types of characters you include, the more difficult your password will be to crack.
- Don't use as passwords your birth date, the name of a relative, or a dictionary word. Some password-cracking programs simply run through all of the words in a particular dictionary in a matter of hours.
- Use longer rather than shorter passwords. Eight characters should be the minimum, but 12 characters are even better. Some "brute force" password-cracking programs on heavy-duty hardware can run through every possible eight-character combination in a matter of hours. Twenty characters is the new recommendation.
- Use a "passphrase" instead of a password. A short sentence, such as "Go forth 4 ever&more," can be easy to remember, not too difficult to type, and very difficult to crack. Foreign words do not help. Insert numbers and symbols into words: Gr8Scot b@man or TeA4to.
- Don't use the same password or passphrase with multiple sites. Periodically, high-profile sites are hacked in which thousands of users' passwords are breached. If a hacker discovers a password of yours this way or by using a password-cracking program and you use the same password for other sites, this makes it easy to break into your other sites.
- Use a password management service or otherwise hide your passwords. Some people write their passwords on a piece of paper, even taping the paper to their computer or desk. The obvious downside to this is the risk of someone, from a nosy babysitter to an office adversary, coming across it. A password management service lets you use one password for it and fills in your passwords, automatically and behind the scenes, for sites you visit. Two recommended password managers are Lastpass and KeePass. These, although great, are above my pay grade. I create a blank ruled password record sheet and print out a few blank copies. I enter my passwords by hand and keep them in a convenient but secure location. I do not use mobile devices, so this system works for me. You can also use the sheets to record new unused passwords for future use. It's always hard to think up a good password at the drop of a hat. Do them when you are in a creative mood.
- Mobile! Wi-Fi? Think VPN; that's a Virtual Private Network. Further discussion of VPN's is beyond the scope of this conversation. Do you have an internet security application installed in your mobile device?
READ PROCEDURE BEFORE YOU START
1. Click on "SIGN-UP"
2. Enter your first and last name
3. Enter your pacmoaa registered email address as user ID
4. Enter your newly created password
5. Click on "sign-up now"
6. When I receive your request I will verify your membership to be in good standing and manually authorize your entry into our secure system.
7. You will receive a system generated welcoming email confirming your ID and password. Delete this email ASAP.
8. If you forget or want to change your user ID or password use CONTACT US on the main menu bar or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a reset. I will reset your user ID to accept another password and send you a notification email so you can sign up again using your new password. I have no access to your password and can offer no help other than a reset.
9. Please do not share your log-in information with anyone. Please do log-out at the end of your session.