“What is my password?”
This is a question I ask myself multiple times each morning as I pull up the many different applications I work in, each with its own unique secure password. And it doesn’t end at the office, every social media application, online shopping, online banking, news sites, exercise trackers, even my hairdresser, has a web portal that I log in to. Some days it feels like some bizarre game of Memory, only instead of remembering where the matching card is I have to match the right password to the right application.
As an RMS customer, you can breathe a sigh of relief because we take the security of information very seriously. We have a whole policy just for password management. Every password must be secure and no two applications can utilize the same password. Some applications even utilize dual authentication, meaning in addition to my login and password I have to provide a code generated by my mobile device (also password protected) to access specific programs.
After several years here at RMS, not to mention a background in banking and insurance, secure passwords are second nature to me, but this year’s list of the 25 most popular passwords shows that most of us still have a long way to go in protecting ourselves and our information. With “password” and “123456” winning the 2012 popularity contest, it seems a forgone conclusion that not only are most people’s passwords unsecure, but that if I figure out just one of your passwords, I can most likely use it to access multiple applications.
Here are some quick tips for managing your passwords:
- If any of your passwords are among those listed in The 25 most popular passwords of 2012, change them immediately.
- Don’t compose your passwords with personal information, like your kid’s birthdays, a pets name, your anniversary date or even a favorite TV show. With the prevalence of this kind of information via social media, it’s not hard for a hacker to guess this type of password with limited effort.
- Use strong, secure passwords. This means a minimum of 8 characters in length with a combination of upper/lower case letters and Numbers/Symbols. You can use a website like www.passwordmeter.com to test the strength of your passwords.
- Don’t use the same password twice. One password being compromised by a hacker is bad enough, but if you utilize the same password for multiple applications, you become much more vulnerable.
- Never write down your passwords. With so many different applications, this may be the hardest rule to follow. Don’t despair; there is help for remembering your passwords. You can use an application such as www.keepersecurity.com to manage and store your passwords. With desktop and mobile application access you can safely store your passwords.
If you are a pharmacy owner or manager, the question now becomes how to encourage your employees to practice these good password habits, especially when it comes to how they access your business applications. For RMS customers, there’s more good news as our unique fingerprint log-in program can virtually wipe out the need for a complex login and password. Not only is this the easiest, most secure way to access a system, it also helps with employee accountability and prevents sharing of passwords. Since you have to be physically present to access the system, it also means that a hackers attempt to access your system becomes exponentially more difficult.
When all is said and done, we believe that these small changes will help to ensure the security of your business and protect your personal information. As your partner in pharmacy point-of-sale RMS will be here to keep you up to date on the latest security trends and help you to navigate the ever changing security landscape.