If you are a home computer user that doesn’t have to deal with a number of corporate applications continuously, then you may be tempted to use the same, simple password at a number of sites when prompted by them to create a password. It’s not that you can’t think up a clever different password for each site, but that if you do, you may never remember your cleverness from one visit to the site to the next. At work however, most of us have to have a variety of passwords for a number of different applications, and the corporate rules dictate that you change your password every 30 to 90 days. That makes passwords a major issue and a frequent headache.
With all the talk about the release of Windows XP SP2 and its emphasis on improving the security of the Windows OS, many of us have become more security conscious, and that’s a good thing. However, just giving some informed thought to the security issues that you control, such as passwords, could go a long way toward improving the security of your home system too.
This morning I read this blog entry by Robert Hensing (who is an incident response specialist for Microsoft) titled, “Why you shouldn’t be using passwords of any kind on your Windows networks …” I hope that attention-grabbing title is sufficient to get you to read the article and the subsequent discussion in the comments that follow from his readers. I’m sure it will get you to thinking, and if you give some thought to this issue, that may lead you to adopt some practices that will make your computing life a bit more secure.
Security depends upon your own attention to doing the simple things. Relying on Microsoft or any other software company to build an impregnable operating system is relinquishing your security to someone else and that, in my opinion, is not a very safe or wise move.