Cyber-hygiene: How is a password like a toothbrush?

IT Services teams up with Faculty of Dentistry for innovative awareness campaign

The IT Services tent was present on lower campus during the first few weeks of Fall term, both on our own and as part of McGill Safety Week. We are collaborating with the Faculty of Dentistry, for the second year, on a campaign linking the use of a toothbrush to healthy password practices.

At first people are caught off guard by the unlikely juxtaposition and don't see the connection, but when we ask, "Would you share your toothbrush?" suddenly they get it, and the reaction is very positive. Our goal is to make sure, when they walk away, they remember: "When I replace my toothbrush...I'll change my McGill password".

Gabriella Coleman, McGill's Wolfe Chair in Scientific & Technological Literacy, was so impressed with our password security and anti-phishing campaigns that she tweeted a glowing endorsement on her Twitter feed:

“Impressed that @mcgillu IT is treating security in terms of hygiene and recognizes need to deliver targeted public campaign”

Here is a copy of the password best practices affixed to the back of each toothbrush.

Don't share your password. Don't recycle it. Replace it every few months. Choose a good one (minimum of 8 characters, at least one symbol, letters and numbers, upper & lower case)

Upcoming events: Cybersecurity Month and Employee Health Fair

Watch for the IT Services toothbrush campaign, among other information security messages, during Cybersecurity Awareness Month, throughout October, the Employee Health Fair event, on October 26, 2018, and other events this fall.

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