What is World Password Day?
Still using your first pet’s name, followed by the year you were born, and an exclamation point for all your passwords? If yes, it might be time to rethink your password choices and World Password Day is the perfect chance to do so.
Since 2013, annually on the first Thursday of May, World Password Day is recognized around the globe. But what purpose does it serve?
World Password Day was created to raise awareness about the importance of using strong passwords to prevent unfortunate consequences like data breaches and identity theft.
Do You Take Your Passwords Seriously?
One of the basics of great cybersecurity is using strong passwords. However, despite all the warnings about reusing the same weak passwords on multiple accounts, many individuals are still guilty of doing so.
So many of us are still making it easy for cybercriminals to hack into personal accounts and gain access to valuable information. According to the 2020 Psychology of Passwords survey report by LastPass, results found that:
- 92 percent know that using the same variation of the same password is a risk, but 50 percent of us do it regardless.
- 58 percent haven’t changed their password in 12 months – even after hearing news of a breach.
- 40 percent think their accounts aren’t valuable enough for a hacker to waste time on them.
- 42 percent say that having a password that’s easy to remember is more important than one that is very secure.
- Only 29 percent reset their passwords once a month or more because they forget them.
- Only 54 percent use multi-factor authentication (MFA) for personal accounts; 37 percent use it at work.
Your password is the key to your personal identity in the digital world, so as a critical gatekeeper to your sensitive information it’s about time they’re taken seriously.
How You Can Observe World Password Day?
If you’re one of the many people who has a habit of reusing passwords, now is an excellent time to update them.
Go through your passwords and make sure they are strong and unique to each account. Differentiate them by using a mixture of letters, numbers, and symbols. You can also mix up the casing of your letters, as passwords that are made up of only lowercase letters are easier to hack – along with passwords that are only six characters, so aim for nine characters or more. Avoid things like names, dates, anniversaries, and pet names – anything that might be easily found on a social media account or is public knowledge.
You can take it a step further by taking advantage of Google Chrome’s extension Password Checkup. This is a plug-in that can warn users of compromised passwords, reused passwords, and accounts using weak passwords. Or consider using the tool How Secure is My Password to test out how secure your passwords are or generate a secure password right now with a Secure Password Generator. You can also take advantage of platforms like LastPass, 1Password, and Keeper – platforms that securely store your passwords.
Many platforms also now allow you to enable multi-factor authentication to keep your accounts more secure. Strong authentication is important to add as it helps to prevent identity theft and other cybercrimes. Multi-factor authentication software provides an additional layer of protection that works to verify it’s you accessing your account and not someone unauthorized.
Related Reading: How MFT Fits into Your Data Security Suite
What Else Can You Do?
Take the #WorldPasswordDay pledge and share these password tips with your friends and family:
- Change an old password to a longer, stronger one.
- Turn on multi-factor authentication for your important accounts.
- Password protect your wireless router.
- Don’t store passwords on your computer or phone.
- Log off when you’re done with a program.
- Periodically remove temporary internet files.