Do you use passwords like "123456", "iloveyou", or your pet's name? If so, you are putting your online accounts and personal information at risk. Hackers can easily guess or crack these passwords and access your data.
This is especially dangerous if you handle Protected Health Information (PHI), which is any information that can identify a patient or their health condition. PHI is regulated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which requires you to protect the privacy and security of PHI. If you use weak passwords for your work accounts, you may violate HIPAA and face fines, lawsuits, and reputation damage.
To protect yourself and your patients from cyberattacks, you need to create and remember strong passwords. A strong password is:
- At least 12 characters long
- A mix of letters, numbers, and symbols
- Not based on personal or common information
- Different from your other passwords
Here are some ways to create and remember strong passwords:
- Use a password generator. This is a tool that creates random passwords for you. You can use an online password generator or a password manager.
- Use a passphrase. This is a sentence or a phrase that you can remember easily, but is hard to guess by others. For example, "MayThe4ceB3WithYou!" or "2B?OrNot2B?".
- Use an acronym. This is a word formed from the first letters of a series of words. For example, "Mfcw@rTC!" from "My first car was at risk of theft constantly!".
To remember your strong passwords, you can:
- Use a password manager. This is an application that stores and manages your passwords for you. You only need to remember one master password to access all your other passwords. A password manager can also generate, autofill, and sync your passwords.
- Use mnemonic devices. These are techniques that help you remember something by associating it with something else. For example, a sentence, an image, a color, a sound, or a rhyme.
- Use spaced repetition. This is a method that helps you memorize something by reviewing it at increasing intervals of time. For example, after one hour, one day, one week, one month, etc.
Password protection is essential for your online security and privacy. It is also a crucial aspect of HIPAA Security and in safeguarding PHI. You need to create and remember strong passwords that are long, complex, unique, and unpredictable. You also need to use a password manager to store and manage your passwords securely.
Don't wait until it's too late. Protect your passwords today.