Monday, September 12, 2016

A Brief Word From the Ministry of Magic

Dear Wizards and Witches of the Ministry of Magic,

We are aware that security is always paramount in the minds of all those who work in these august halls--our duty is to work with those aspects of magic that are forbidden, after all, and the forbidden always has its own allure. So we appreciate that everyone is doing their best to secure unauthorized Dark Magic spells, magical items, and curiosities away from those who would abuse them.

Nonetheless, we wish to take a moment to discuss the topic of security. After a few recent high-profile breaches, we would like to offer a few helpful suggestions that might help make forbidden magical items that can...purely hypothetically speaking...alter the course of history or undo all our hard-fought struggles against the Dark Lord Voldemort...even more secure!

1) Information security is everyone's responsibility. Between the use of Invisibility Cloaks, Polyjuice Potions and other disguises, one must always be aware of the possibility of someone using "social engineering" to try to determine the location of forbidden magic. Avoid openly discussing the location of hidden items, and never share details on accessing these items with someone, no matter how well you know them, without first confirming their identity beyond a doubt. Remember, kisses are not personally identifying information!

2) A strong password is a safe password. We understand that items may need to be accessed for a higher purpose, and that magical barriers must therefore have a means of removing them in the event that it becomes necessary. When setting a password for your magical barrier, try not to use the names of family members or pets, as these can be easily guessed by intruders. Also try not to use phrases like "password", or your birthdate, as these are too common and can also be guessed. Also, if you do decide to use a cunning children's riddle answer as your password, do not put a "hint" in that is the riddle's question. This common mistake allows the item to be accessed by the clever thieves only, and frankly if unscrupulous people are going to have access to our magical items, we want them to at least be dumb enough to get caught.

Following these two guidelines will drastically reduce the number of times a certain wizard with a minor facial disfigurement has to save the world (please refer to our workplace sign, "It Has Been 9 Days Since Harry Potter Has Had To Bear the Great Burden of Heroism On Behalf Of Wizardkind"). And remember, if it wouldn't safeguard a computer, it won't safeguard the most dangerous magical item ever created. Thank you!

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