Passwords are the keys to your digital office. Would you use the same key for your office, your house, your shed, your truck and your tractor? Of course not.
Just as it is important to secure your physical property, you should also utilize the tools available to you to secure your smart office. Here are five tips to help you to secure your passwords:
1. Utilize password management – Password management tools are available in most browsers. Google Chrome, for example, stores usernames and passwords linking them to your Google Account, which makes them available on other devices or computers that you use with Chrome. There are also services with plugins for your browser like LastPass. With LastPass, you only need to remember one password and the service handles the rest. LastPass also helps you with creating unique passwords.
2. Unique Passwords – Unique and complex passwords help to keep your information safe. Use a combination of non-repetitive letters (uppercase and lowercase), numbers and symbols. Avoid using the same password for all of your accounts. You can try out the strength of a password through Microsoft's password checker.
3. Enable Two-Step Verification – If available, setup two-step verification for your accounts—especially accounts that hold sensitive information. You should also setup alerts for suspicious activity when available.
4. Password Recovery – Password recovery options allow you to access your accounts if you forget your passwords. These recovery options could be validation through a cell phone text message, a phone number to call or a code to provide to the account servicer in the event of a forgotten password. You should always have this backup plan in place.
5. Change Passwords as Needed – It can get confusing to change your passwords too frequently. Some network administrators require a change every 30 days, and others, every six months. Above all, it is vital that you change your passwords any time you are made aware of a data breach, or if you are aware of malicious activity on your computer.
The opinions of Jessica Michael are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or the Penton Farm Progress Group.