“Welcome” “Ninja” “Mustang”
While you’re trying to figure out the meaning of the title of this post, I want to talk about passwords on your electronic devices and digital accounts.
First, please tell me you have protected all of your devices – your desktop computer, your laptop, your smartphone, your tablet, even your old-fashioned “dumb” cell phone – with passwords. An unprotected device in the hands of the wrong person can lead to catastrophic privacy breaches for you and your patients. HIPAA penalties and penalties specific to state laws where you reside could prove ruinous if your patients’ data is accessed by anyone not authorized to have it.
Second, please tell me that you have used a password other than “PASSWORD” or the equally famous “DROWSSAP.” These are passwords in name only. Should your password-protected device fall into the wrong hands, or a hacker try to access your data, these are the first options the miscreant will likely try to access your data. Unfortunately, in many situations, the thief or hacker will be successful.
The link below takes you to an article entitled “Worst Passwords of 2012 – and How to Fix Them,” published by SplashData. After you read the article, you’ll understand the title. It turns out that these three words are among those new to the list of “the most common passwords used on the Internet and posted by hackers.”
Remembering a myriad of passwords for various email accounts, bank accounts, on-line purchasing accounts, networks, and devices is one of the burdens of modern life. In some ways, we have all become like security guards and janitors, lugging rings bearing dozens of keys of various colors, lengths and complexity, but the article suggests some ways to reduce password overkill while staying reasonably, digitally safe.
Check the passwords you use against the list. Are you asking for trouble? Are you using 123456? 1234567? 12345678? Abc123?
We can all do better.