Technology

Daily Buzz: Password Tips from Kanye West

By / Dec 12, 2018 Kanye West, shown typing in his terrible passcode. (YouTube screenshot)

Passwords are an integral part of keeping your information safe. Here are some do’s and don’ts from 2018’s worst password offenders. (TLDR version: “000000” is a bad passcode.) Also: how to find the right benchmarks in lieu of vanity metrics.

Data security. We hear these two words a lot, and for good reason: To date, there have been around 668 data breaches with more than 22.4 million records exposed in 2018 alone. The risk of not keeping your information and accounts safe now looms larger than ever.

Although we all might know passwords are an important part of data security, how many of us are actually using safe password practices? Yes, it can be a pain to come up with a new phrase that is at least 10 characters and includes at least one number, symbol, capitalized letter, hieroglyphic, your favorite movie quote, and the pattern of your first pet’s name in Morse code. But the aftermath of a data breach is much, much worse.

Let’s take a look at Dashlane’s top three transgressors on its annual “Worst Password Offenders” list for 2018 for password do’s and don’ts:

1. Kanye West. The rapper typed in his iPhone password—“000000”—in a room full of cameras during his notorious White House meeting, flaunting his lazy password habits for all the world to see.

What we can learn: Come up with a smarter security code than “000000,” which is basically the “password” password for mobile lockscreens. Also, do not type in your password in a place where it can be recorded for dissemination.

2. The Pentagon. An audit by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found numerous cybersecurity vulnerabilities, including that weapons system software was protected by default passwords that anyone could have looked up on Google.

What we can learn: Always change the default password.

3. Cryptocurrency users. As the value of cryptocurrencies soared at the beginning of the year, many users wanted to cash out big—but forgot the passwords they needed in order to do so. Some users were desperate enough that they hired hypnotists to help them remember.

What we can learn: After choosing your security code, memorize it—or at least write it down in a place of safekeeping.

Ignore Vanity Metrics

There are a lot of business metrics out there, and if you get caught up in all of them, you might lose sight of what your organization needs to succeed. “Leaders often get distracted when they focus on vanity metrics,” says Firas Kittaneh in a post on Inc. “They lose sight of the goals that truly matter to the long-term growth of their company and neglect both their customers and their employees.”

To set the right benchmarks for you and your team, Kittaneh suggests focusing on the metrics that relate to your core activities, looking beyond what core competitors do, and innovating wherever you can.

“When you make creativity a key measure of your success, it sets a standard that your team can carry through even after your goals change,” he says. “As you integrate original thinking into your organization on a more consistent basis, it will reflect in better performance results across all your core metrics.”

Other Links of Note

Give your website a refresh in 2019, starting with these four essentials, says the MemberClicks blog.

What do association IT directors need to be successful? The DelCor blog explains.

As meetings change, so does how planners market them. The Event Manager Blog outlines the strategies to know for the coming year.

Sophia Conforti

Sophia Conforti is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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