Username and password: It’s not always nice to share

computer network security

To all those Northern Arizona University employees who have devised a strong password, Information Technology Services would like to say thank you.

Now please keep it to yourself.

Even the best password—which likely is at least eight upper- and lower-case characters long and includes numbers—is of little value if it is shared with someone else.

Yet the sharing continues to happen, according to Lanita Collette, university information security officer.

“Employees should remember that they are responsible for activities that occur using their account information,” Collette said. “The person you share with could download music or movies illegally, and you would be legally responsible for their actions.”

Or worse. Your account could be used to divert your paycheck to a different bank account, or fraud could be committed in your name.

Collette also pointed out that employees continue to respond to phishing emails, which ask for account information. Any response to such an email, she said, benefits the attacker. She reminds employees that ITS never asks you to send your account information via email.