I have been annoyed lately with computer and app updates that require me to change my password, yet again. I know that the updates are meant to help my system or the program perform at optimum levels and that the password changes better protect my information and privacy, but when I’m trying to perform an action quickly and get stopped mid-finger stroke on my computer, the thoughts that hit my mind are not kind.
It made me think about the security offered by a strong password and the best ways to set up, keep and save your password, and how that correlates to other management practices in my life.
To access your computer, server, and phones, we all use and need passwords. They provide the entry to our personal and professional data. Back in the day, it was common for people to write their passwords on a sticky note and either affix it to their desk or computer screen. That’s not a very secure place for valuable information.
The best way to safeguard your passwords are to first make them long, somewhat complex with upper and lower case letters and numbers, and at least one symbol. The trick is making it complex but easy for you to remember.
Once you’ve created a strong password, then keep it a secret. Don’t write it on a sticky note on your desk. Instead, you might keep it on your phone in a secure folder, or tucked away in a notebook, journal or planner.
Many systems will automatically save it for you, but you need to keep it someplace where you can get to it, just in case your computer crashes or you need to access the file from a different computer, such as your laptop or cell phone.
So, how does this correlate to how we manage professionally, outside of the world of IT domains?
To safeguard our careers or business, we need to respect our intellectual data. What I mean when I say "respecting our intellectual data," is that we must first recognize the knowledge we possess in our fields of work, the years of experience that has taught us how to perform and how to react in certain circumstances, as well as the networks that we’ve established. Keep all of this data safe and close. It is your bandwidth that will help you to continue to grow. your business and excel in your career.
Next, like our work documents, we need to protect our reputations and our business relationships. These valuable aspects of our career should be vaulted and nurtured.
Avoid any appearance of wrong doing or scandal to protect yourself, your family, your staff and your business network. This means that you cannot tell everyone everything. Know who to trust and what is appropriate to share. Behave in an ethical manner that is professional and integral. You do not want to do or say anything that could compromise your ability to lead due to a lack of trust by your staff, board, or partners.
As a corporate leader, you must walk the line between transparency and protection, and if you remember to RESPECT your intellectual data, KEEP the data safe, and PROTECT the REPUTATION of yourself, your business or your organization, then you will have a strong password that will be the key to a successful future.