Feb 19, 2020 New Changes to Web-Portal Password Requirements

We are committed to protecting your personal and financial data. We have robust software security systems in place and test them regularly. Whenever possible, we use multi-factor authentication (or two-factor authentication). Multi-factor authentication is just as important as having a strong and secure password.

In addition to multi-factor authentication, we have specific policies and procedures to protect your personal information from getting into the wrong hands. In our efforts to continually improve on our password procedures, we are releasing several new password requirements when logging into your web portal.

  • The minimum password length is now 10 characters
  • You cannot change your password to one that is known to be compromised
  • Your password cannot contain your first or last names, your user ID, your email address, or variations of the words “password,” or “Advisor/Adviser”

On the roadmap- More changes pending

  • If you log in using a password that is known to be compromised, you will be required to change it
  • Passwords will not be able to contain several date-related words (year, month name, and season)
  • Passwords will no longer expire
  • Security questions will be retired
  • Several new multi-factor authentication options will be added, in addition to email and text message
  • You will have the opportunity to view your password as you are typing it

Protecting your password from predators

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released new recommendations for adequate password protections. Among those suggestions are the obvious, like no sequential numbers, and the not so obvious—such as the ability to use any special character if desired. The most important recommendation was to “restrict passwords obtained from previous breach corpuses.”

There were 1,224 data breaches exposing nearly 447 million records of personal information in 2018, such as usernames and passwords. How do we limit those breaches from creeping into our systems?

Best practices

Aside from these changes, what are some good tips and tricks to creating and maintaining a secure password?

  • Do not reuse passwords across websites – Even if you have created a strong password that you can easily remember, once that password is compromised, your data on every site where you have used that password is now vulnerable.
  • Adhere to modern password guidelines -To do this, we have to disregard some habits of the past. Today, complex passwords, with variations of upper and lower case, numbers and special characters, are not necessarily stronger. Longer is always better in today’s world. Password hints can easily be found in the age of social media, so do not use them as a means of password recovery.
  • Use a password manager, but not the one built into your web browser -Using a password manager means you only have to remember one complex password, and the rest are stored away for safekeeping. Internally at Leonard Rickey, we use Lastpass, but 1Password and RoboForm have high marks from industry experts as well.
  • Set up multi-factor authentication -It seems simple, but it is instrumental. Even if your password is compromised, this is another layer of protection that saves your information from being stolen.

To check if one of your passwords has been compromised, visit haveibeenpwned.com.

And for more information regarding protecting your financial accounts and identity, check out our blog on other cybersecurity tips: Cybersecurity 101

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Important Disclosures

Leonard Rickey Investment Advisors, PLLC (“LRIA”), is an SEC registered investment adviser located in the State of Washington. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. For information pertaining to the registration status of LRIA, please contact LRIA or refer to the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website (www.adviserinfo.sec.gov).

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