Passwords and Two-factor Authentication

Every digital user should know how to be safe and secure while using the Internet. This week’s lesson covers Passwords and Two-factor Authentication.

Good Password is something easily memorized but difficult to reproduce. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) suggests the following for a secure password:

  • The use of any ASCII characters (character, numbers, and symbols on your keyboard)
  • 8 character min. and 64 character max.
  • The use of at least one special characters (e.g. #, @, !, &, $)
  • The use of at least one number
  • No dictionary words
  • No password complexity requirements (something easy to remember)
  • No knowledge-based authentication (e.g. who was your best friend in high school?)

Here’s an example of a password that’s easy to remember and doesn’t include dictionary words: I Love Ice Cream when it’s 100 degrees outside! Translation would be ILICwi100do!

Another helpful cyber tips is to setup two-factor authentication (2FA) when possible. 2FA (aka Multi-factor authentication or dual factor authentication) requires users to provide two different authentication factors to verify themselves when accessing an account.

Typically, 2FA is setup using something you know (a password) and something you have (e.g. a cell phone). Services such as Apple iOS, macOS, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Google, Snapchat, Slack, Microsoft, Dropbox, Paypal, and more, offer 2FA setup for free.

If you’re interested, this website offers instruction on how to setup 2FA for one of these accounts. Also, YouTube has great videos on 2FA and how it works!

Remember, Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility.

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