(A doorway appears. A woman steps through and waves.)
We use passwords for almost everything we do online.
(Close-up of a hand unlocking a phone.)
From checking our emails and bank accounts to catching up with friends on social media.
(The hand swipes between email and social media apps on the phone.)
(A hand swipes an unlock button.)
Our passwords protect the things that are important to us, like our data
(A series of dots and bars move across lines on the screen.)
(A coin rolls onto the screen.)
(The coin flips and turns into a lock and is unlocked with a key.)
and even our identities.
(The lock drops and turns into a man’s face. We zoom out to see that he is in a social media post on a phone.)
(Cut to a scene within a house. A dog lays on a couch.)
To make things easier for ourselves, we often create passwords that are simple and memorable.
(An arrow with the name CHEDDAR appears and points at the dog. The dog raises its head.)
(The dog is replaced by an elderly woman. The name on the arrow changes to GAM-GAM.)
But we need to be careful.
(Cut to a woman kneeling beside Cheddar the dog.)
(ONSCREEN TEXT: We need to be careful)
A password that’s easy to remember is probably easy to guess.
(Cut to a nearly finished puzzle of a key. A hand appears and adds the last puzzle piece.)
(The hand swipes left to show a padlock onscreen. The woman stands in front of it, thinking. An ellipsis is beside the woman.)
(The woman pokes one of the dots in the ellipsis. The dot jumps an expands to fill the screen.)
So how do you create a password you won’t forget, but a cyber threat actor can’t crack?
(A censored password is shown in a web browser.)
(ONSCREEN TEXT: Your password is STRONG)
It is possible!
(The screen goes white, filled with small shapes.)
(ONSCREEN TEXT: It is possible)
First, let’s start with what to avoid.
A strong password shouldn’t include any personal information, like
(ONSCREEN TEXT: A strong password shouldn’t include any personal information, like…)
names of family members or pets
(A card with a person waving appears. Then a card with a cat.)
(A card with a house appears.)
(A card with a phone appears.)
song lyrics, or birthdays.
(A card with musical notes appears. Then a card with a birthday cake.)
You should also avoid easily guessed passwords like “password”
(The cards disappear.)
(ONSCREEN TEXT: Password)
(Cut to a combination lock on a phone with the numbers 1234.)
(The combination lock changes to a padlock and unlocks.)
And to make a password really hard to guess,
(Cut to a cardboard cut-out of a castle. Its flag says PASSWORD.)
you shouldn’t use a passwordat all!
(The castle falls over.)
Instead, try a passphrase — a mix of random words.
(A larger, real castle appears. Its flag says PASSPHRASE. Three arrows fly at the castle but have no impact.)
It should be at least 4 words
(ONSCREEN TEXT: 4 WORDS)
and 15 characters long.
(ONSCREEN TEXT: 15 CHARACTERSSSSS)
To come up with one, just take a look around you.
(Cut to an office with a desk with a phone plugged in, a jacket, a shelf and a cat.)
The first four objects you see could make up the four words in your passphrase.
(Labels appear beside each object.)
(ONSCREEN TEXT: SHELF, JACKET, CHARGER, CAT)
(The objects disappear, but the labels remain.)
You have a password that’s unique to you, and less likely to be cracked by cyber criminals.
(The labels are reordered.)
(ONSCREEN TEXT: CAT JACKET CHARGER SHELF)
Although this may seem counterintuitive, this method has been proven by researchers to be effective.
(A man holding a clipboard with the nametag RESEARCHER appears onscreen.)
Another way to come up with a strong password is to create a series of letters that make sense to you, but would be meaningless to a potential threat actor.
(A woman appears holding a pencil and paper.)
(The woman scratches her head with the pencil. An x-ray filter appears over the woman. Shapes bounce around inside her head.)
First, think of a memorable sentence, for example:
(ONSCREEN TEXT: Degrassi High is the greatest television show of all time.)
Then take the first letter of each word,
(ONSCREEN TEXT: DHitgtsoat)
capitalize letters, and add numbers and special characters in a way that you’ll remember.
(ONSCREEN TEXT: DHitgts0at)
Not bad, right?
(A popup window appears.)
(ONSCREEN TEXT: not bad right?)
But having a strong password isn’t everything. You still need to keep it safe.
(A square appears onscreen. It rotates to reveal a safe.)
(The safe opens and an envelope flies in. The safe closes and locks.)
Always use different passwords on every account or device, and make sure you log out when you’re done.
(A smartphone, a laptop and a smartwatch appear on pedestals.)
(Zoom into the smartphone to see a collection of shapes. One shape is a door with an arrow pointing away from it.)
(ONSCREEN TEXT: LOGOUT)
For important accounts, like your bank or the Canada Revenue Agency, it’s critical that you use a unique password.
(Two buildings appears: a bank and the Canada Revenue Agency. Censored password fields appear above them.)
If like most people you have too many passwords to create a random, unique password or passphrase for every account,
(A woman appears. A circle falls into her hands, followed by other assorted shapes. She drops the shapes into a funnel, which lead to a password manager.)
(ONSCREEN TEXT: PASSWORD MANAGER)
consider using a password manager
(The password manager shows a list of the woman’s passwords.)
and always use two-factor authentication.
(A laptop and smartphone appear. A portal opens in both, with a ray of light shining through the portals.)
And most importantly, never, ever share your passwords, even with family.
(The woman appears. Her mouth moves to talk. PASSWORD comes out of her mouth.)
(ONSCREEN TEXT: PASSWORD)
Keeping your passwords secure is one of the most effective ways to increase your cyber safety.
(The woman sits at a desk and types on her computer.)
But it’s not the only step you can take.
(ONSCREEN TEXT: but it’s not the only step you can take.)
Visit getcybersafe.ca for more information and advice on all things cyber security.
(ONSCREEN TEXT: GETCYBERSAFE.CA)
(GOVERNMENT OF CANADA WORDMARK)