Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Password

This was found on the copier machine in my office. I swear I am not making this up as it is an actual document from our IT Security group in Paris. I cracked up reading this. So if you don't know how to create a password this will REALLY help you out.
The Password
  • You (the user) choose your password, so it is known only to you.
  • You are responsible for the confidentiality of your password
  • Choose an original word, based on an algorithm that only you know. We recommend a word made up of a minimum of eight characters.
  • Do not hesitate to use (except for the mainframe) special characters and punctuation marks, and alternate upper and lower case.
  • Avoid predictable words and personal information that is easy to obtain, such as the name of your partner* or children, birth dates, telephone or car registration numbers, the brand of your computer, or the current month, etc.
  • Do not disclose it to anybody, even temporarily: do not give it to technicians working on your PC, do not entrust your colleagues with it, even your boss.
  • Never use words contained in any language dictionary or proper nouns.
  • Do not use a word made up of the same letter such as "aaaaaaaa".
  • Do not record it in an automatic connection process: do not select "memorise password" just to save a bit of time next time you connect.
  • Do not write the password on a document located on your desk or that is easily accessible.
  • Modify it periodically.

Exception

The only exception to this requirement of strictest security is the password you need to turn the machine on.

For indeed if this password is lost, no-one will ever be able to use the machine again.

The password use to turn the machine on (also called the BIOS password or startup password) should be known to your IT Correspondent or your boss so that if you are absent, the PC itself can still be use.

A few tricks to help you choose a good password and remember it:

  • Firstly, choose a sentence. You can take a sentence from a poem or a song for example. (646Guy notes: I SWEAR I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP! IT ACTUALLY SAYS THIS!)
  • Take the sentence and take the first letter of each word in the sentence. For example, I always keep my password totally secret could become &Iak(mpt)S& or iakMPTs= or +IAKmpt&s+ etc
  • You can alternate letter, punctuation, and numbers. For example: &s&e(c(R&E&t) or 3ci-EL-bl-Eu5
  • When it is time to change your password, you can tak the second letter from each word, or move onto the next sentence in the poem or song.
  • Whatever you do, do not disclose your tricks!

Remember: the passwords managemed by the mainframe must contain a minimum of 8 charaters. Only letters of the alphabet (there is no difference between upper and lower case), numbers, and the characters & and £ are allowed.

* -- Partner? How politically correct of this company...

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