You trust Kidblog to create a safe, secure space for your students. How do you ensure your students’ passwords are strong enough? When teachers create student accounts, they often establish a basic or shared password that can be easily distributed and remembered by students. This is a great way to get students logged in for the first time, but these initial passwords present security concerns when users know (or can guess) other users’ passwords.
Kidblog has put security measures in place to help mitigate the possibility of a user logging into another person’s account. However, it is up to you to teach students the importance of protecting their online accounts using password best practices. We suggest making this a part of your digital citizenship lesson early in the year.
Check out these secure password tips from connectsafely.com:
Never give out your password to anyone.* Never give it to friends, even if they’re really good friends. A friend can – maybe even accidentally – pass your password along to others or even become an ex-friend and abuse it.
Don’t just use one password. It’s possible that someone working at a site where you use that password could pass it on or use it to break into your accounts at other sites.
Use a passphrase. Security experts are now recommending a “passphrase” rather than simply a password. Such a phrase should be relatively long – perhaps 20 characters or so and consist of seemingly random words strung together along with numbers, symbols and upper and lower case letters. Think of something that you can remember but others couldn’t guess such as YellowChocolate#56CadillacFi$h which is relatively long – perhaps 20 characters or so — using seemingly random words strung together along with numbers, symbols, and upper and lower case letters. Avoid using famous quotations that might be easy to guess.
Make the password at least 12 characters long. The longer the better. Longer passwords are harder for thieves to crack.
Include numbers, capital letters, and symbols. Consider replacing a letter in a word with a symbol that looks similar, or simply adding a symbol to the beginning or end of a word. Using a $ instead of an S or a 1 instead of an L, or including a & or % are all great ways to improve your password. Be careful though, “$1ngle” is NOT a good password, since it’s too short and easy for Password thieves to guess. Instead, consider a password like Mf$J1ravng (short for “My friend Sam Jones is really a very nice guy) which looks very arbitrary. Try using this tool from Comparitech to test the strength of your password.
Don’t post it in plain sight. This might seem obvious but studies have found that a lot of people post their password on their monitor with a sticky note. Bad idea. If you must write it down, hide the note somewhere where no one can find it.
For more tips on safe student publishing, check out our post on Smart Surfing 101.