Fortify passwords

Posted on Thursday, October 15, 2015


 Click with discretion. Update often. Fortify passwords. Protect data.


Avoid bad passwords. Start by thinking about your email password. Scammers just love it when we play into their hands and use one of the easy-to-crack strategies listed here:

  • Is the password in the dictionary?
  • Does it contain a 4-digit year?
  • Is it a sports reference?
  • Did you use the name of your pet, spouse, child or a celebrity?
  • How about your email address, phone number or SIN?
  • Another oldie but goodie is using a keyboard pattern or sequential numbers like: qwerty, asdf, 123456.


Make each of your accounts and systems an impregnable fortress. It starts with an ironclad password. Choose a personal phrase and reduce it to the first letters of each word, working in numbers, capitalization, and punctuation. To reinforce the idea and the fun you can have with it, here are some examples:

  • “May the Force be with you”  becomes MtFbwy2:-) and at the end added number 2 for the word “too” and a smiley notation
  • “Life is like a box of chocolates” becomes 4uLilaboc; here it is prefixed with “for you” and is replaced by “4u” and a semicolon was added at the end
  • “Do.Or do not. There is no try” becomes D.Odn.Tint

Use a different password for each account you use. Using the same password for all your accounts is dangerous. If your account is compromised, all of your accounts are at risk.

Now repeat for each of the passwords you have written on a piece of paper located in your drawer or wallet.

Remember to protect network printers: review 2-3 times a year who is authorized to access the printer. Consider printing with the secure print option to ensure the physical safety of confidential documents.

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month. Throughout the month, we invite you to include in your reflections the security practices for your smartphone, your tablet, as well your laptop.

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