Published: August 08, 2021 on our newsletter Security Fraud News & Alerts Newsletter.
Oops! A U.S. Representative has attracted attention by tweeting a photograph that appeared to show his password taped to his monitor. While attempting to avoid being served papers with regard to the January 6th riot on the Capitol in Washington D.C., the rep tweeted a photo of the successful serving of the lawsuit, claiming the person who served it trespassed. Unfortunately, on the side of the photo was the password for all to see.
The representative from Alabama, Mo Brooks has since deleted the photo, but the damage has already been done. He may have to spend valuable time he could be legislating, having to change one or more of his passwords, if he did indeed accidentally reveal sensitive information.
There are a few lessons here. First, don’t tape passwords to your monitor, the keyboard, or anywhere in plain sight. Next, don’t photograph any area and subsequently post it to social media. This is security 101.
However, if you do find yourself the victim of a data breach, including from exposing your password on social media or by any other means, you should immediately change the passwords for any online accounts that utilize that one. When doing so, use a strong password that is unique for each of your accounts. This means:
Use at least eight characters
Include upper and lower case letters
Add in a number or two
Use special characters
Don’t utilize dictionary words
Don’t use personal information such as birthdates in your passwords
There are ways to keep track of your passwords, if remembering them all overwhelming and let’s face it, it is overwhelming.
You can use a password manager with the knowledge that if the password manager is breached, so will be your passwords
You can write them down and keep them offline and out of sight. I.e. not taped to your monitor
You can use clues to remember them
Whatever you decide to do, keep them safe from prying eyes and, by all means, keep them off of social media.
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