O’Reilly Media book: Take Control of Your Passwords

Take Control of Your Passwords:

Improve your passwords without losing your cool, thanks to Joe Kissell’s expert advice. Start on the path to modern password security by watching Joe’s intro video and by checking out our “Joe of Tech” comic in the Contents & Intro tab below (scroll down!).
Read the book to understand the problems and apply a real-world strategy that includes choosing a password manager, auditing your existing passwords, and dealing with situations where automated tools can’t help.
“Awesome. You did an amazing job breaking it down. This should be mandatory reading.” –Rich Mogull, CEO at Securosis
This ebook helps you overcome frustrations that arise when attempting to design a strategy for dealing with the following password problems:

  • 9-character passwords with upper- and lowercase letters, digits, and punctuation are NOT strong enough.
  • You CANNOT turn a so-so password into a great one by tacking a punctuation character and number on the end.
  • It is NOT safe to use the same password everywhere, even if it’s a great password.
  • A password is NOT immune to automated cracking because there’s a delay between login attempts.
  • Even if you’re an ordinary person without valuable data, your account may STILL be hacked, causing you problems.
  • You can NOT manually devise “random” passwords that will defeat potential attackers.
  • Just because a password doesn’t appear in a dictionary, that does NOT necessarily mean that it’s adequate.
  • It is NOT a smart idea to change your passwords every month.
  • Truthfully answering security questions like “What is your mother’s maiden name?” does NOT keep your data more secure.
  • Adding a character to a 10-character password does NOT make it 10 percent stronger.
  • Easy-to-remember passwords like “correct horse battery staple” will NOT solve all your password problems.
  • All password managers are NOT pretty much the same.
  • Your passwords will NOT be safest if you never write them down and keep them only in your head.

“Joe handles a confusing and scary subject more clearly and calmly than I would have thought possible. I’ll be recommending this book to just about everybody I know.” –William Porter, database developer, author, photographer

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