Safe Password Practices

BY JAMES F. LEON

Editor's note: This is a Web-exclusive exhibit for "Password Management Strategies for Safer Systems."

  Advise users to never put their password on a Post-it Note or in another unsafe location.

  Prohibit users from including a clear-text password in an e-mail message.

  Require users to consult a manager when an unfamiliar person asks for a password via e-mail or over the phone.

  Tell users to always say “No” when Windows or any other software offers to save their password.

  Require all employees to change their password at least every one to two months.

  Lock out of the system any user who has been unable to log on after three attempts.

  Store salt values and passwords in separate system tables.

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