Saturday, December 5, 2009

Technical haiku can help with password protection

       The other day, I was working with my client, Brian Guinn, the chief executive officer of Prism Technology, to respond to a query from a freelance writer concerning Internet security. From this writer's perspective, it seems a lot of women use something like "password" as their security log on. Others leave their children's full name as a password.
Bryan who helps a lot of his clients develop security practices, came up with some really good ideas for the article. For example, a password should not be a personal name or a state name.
Many years ago, when I was working for the folks at SecureInfo, Steve Spriester came to our company to do a story. With the cameras rolling, we challenged him that we could pick his one word password in under 60 seconds. Sure enough, we found that the KSAT reporter, now anchor, has selected "Nebraska" in honor of his alma mater.
Passwords today, work best with a combination of capital letters, numbers and symbols. Bryan had suggested in our response to the author that customers can take a common phrase like "Mary had a little lamb. Her fleece was white as snow" and convert it to "Mhall.hfwwas" To add a different character, Bryan suggested you would substitute the first L in the phrase to the number one to represent little.
This got me to thinking that computer users could have a little fun with their passwords, especially as they should change them at about the rate of 30 to 45 days or so. And somehow, it got me thinking to sixth grade English with Sister Mary Antonio and haiku. So, for those out there still using password or computer as security phrases, here's a few inspirational if not hilarious thoughts to make some needed changes in those passwords.
SCW%ndnarticoid.bphdylcf?: Sorry Charlie Weiss Notre Dame needs a real tuna in charge of its destiny. Bill Parcells how do you like college football? (Note: the "%" is a good way to put an emphasis in these password haikus.)
Wtmmwh?rtottsyiuud2: Want to make my wife happy. Remember to put the toilet seat up or is it down? (Note: instead of the question mark, I substituted a number for the question mark.)
Tymjc!ytfmwaetisa2: Thank you Mayor Julian Castro! You're the first mayor who actually embraces technology in San Antonio.
Iybiteb,ttfasc,tyrftcctwtwsty!: If you believe in the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus, then you root for the Chicago Cubs to win the World Series this year!

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