UBP blog

02/16/2010

The Security of your Identity is only as strong as the passwords you keep—Part 2

As discussed in the previous blog post, your passwords are often your only barrier protecting personal information from the prying eyes of identity thieves. So, it goes without saying that they should be kept both strong and secret.

We’ve gone over how to make your passwords strong, here are a 4 steps that you should take to make sure they’re kept secret:

1. Don’t write your passwords down:  The safest place to store your passwords is clearly your own mind, which is why they should be relatively easy for you to remember. However, if you’re someone with a lot of different passwords to different accounts, you might need to write them down somewhere to remember which one is which.

If this is you, you’ll need to be extra careful about where you put them. Avoid keeping them in places that are easy for a thief to access, such as in your pocketbook, taped to the monitor of your keyboard or even on a sticky note on the back of your mousepad.

2. Don’t use the “remember my passwords” setting:  Whenever automatic logins and “remember my passwords” settings are enabled on your computer, anyone can sign into your computer as you and log in to all of your personal databases.

3. Don’t log into accounts containing personal information on public computers: Public computers include those in libraries, schools, universities or at an Internet café. Your passwords and usernames could be saved by the computer and used to access your accounts by someone else at a later date.

4. Don’t share your password with others: Also, as soon as anyone finds out your password, you should immediately change it (even if the person promised not to use it or tell anyone else).

Starting March 1, 2010, all businesses that “own, license, store or maintain” personal information on any Massachusetts residents must be fully compliant with the Commonwealth’s identity theft law 201 CMR 17.00. This means encryption, creation and implementation of a Written Information Security Plan and a whole host of other responsibilities must be completed by the end of this month.

Is your company compliance-ready, and can you prove it to the auditor who may come knocking at your door?

To help Massachusetts businesses get compliance-ready, Universal Benefit Plans has partnered with local employment law firm Foley and Foley to offer a complimentary 30 minute compliance review for qualifying companies. Call us at 617-859-1777 to learn more and see if your company qualifies.

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