Tag Archive for: World Password Day

7 World Password Day Tips

We live in a world where constant connectivity and online communication are critical to most people’s daily activity. The number of passwords a person has can vary widely depending on factors such as age, job, and personal habits, but some studies have shown that the average person has nearly 200 passwords.

As people increasingly use digital devices and online services, they need to create and remember passwords for each account or service they use. Strong passwords are essential for protecting our personal and professional information from cyberattacks but managing this many different passwords can be a challenge. This is why people tend to reuse the same passwords for multiple accounts or use weak passwords that are easy to remember but also easy to guess. A weak password can easily be hacked, which can lead to a range of consequences from stolen identity to financial loss – and if stolen passwords are also used for a business purpose, this can also be devastating for your organization.

In honor of World Password Day, here are our top tips for creating secure passwords that can help you stay safe online:

  1. Mix It Up: A strong password should include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Many sites are now starting to require this, but even if that’s not the case, using a variety of characters makes it harder for hackers to guess your password.
  2. Don’t Be Common: Common words and phrases such as “password,” “123456,” and “qwerty” are some of the most common passwords used by people. Avoid using these types of passwords or using public facts such as birthdates or phone numbers, as they are easy to guess and can be easily cracked.
  3. Write It Out: A passphrase is a combination of multiple words that are easy for you to remember but hard for others to guess. For example, “HikingWithMyDogInTheMountains” is a strong passphrase that can be difficult to guess or crack.
  4. Make It Long: The longer your password is, the harder it is to guess or crack. Aim for a minimum of 12 characters in your password, and the longer the better.
  5. Create Variations: It can be tempting to reuse the same password across multiple accounts, but this is a significant security risk. If one account is compromised, all the other accounts with the same password are also at risk. Even slight variations give you a leg up on hackers.
  6. Change Passwords Regularly: Changing your passwords every few months is a good practice to ensure that your accounts remain secure. If your site doesn’t require it, you should make it a habit to do it yourself. This way, if a hacker gains access to your password, changing it can limit their access to your account.
  7. Use A Password Manager: Password managers are applications that store all your passwords in a secure vault, and you only need to remember one master password. This makes it easier to use unique and complex passwords for each account without the risk of forgetting them.

Creating strong passwords is essential for protecting your personal and professional information. By following the tips for creating strong passwords, you make it much more difficult for attackers to gain unauthorized access to your accounts or devices and significantly reduce the risk of your accounts being compromised. Remember that protecting your online security is an ongoing process, and taking the necessary precautions can help prevent potential cyberattacks and keep your information safe.

How Your Password Sins Can Put Your Company at Risk

Admit it: at some point in your personal life or professional career, you’ve probably re-used a password, didn’t use any special characters, or were completely uncreative when it came to keeping your accounts safe from hackers and cybercriminals.

Well, here’s your chance to right your wrongs and fix your old password habits. Today is World Password Day, that one day a year when the corners of the internet come together to improve password habits.

Don’t choose a password because it’s easy to remember

More often than not, individuals pick passwords because they’re easy to remember, not because it’s the safest and most secure combination of letters, numbers and special characters. Despite the fact that most people know strong passwords are a basic first step in cybersecurity, many still gravitate to common words or number sequences.

A recent study showed that the most popular password, making up nearly 17% of the 10 million passwords the company analyzed, was “123456.” Yes, that’s right – that many people were still using this to protect their accounts. By this day in age, you would think this password would have been put to rest, but it looks like many still can’t break bad habits despite increased public knowledge on the importance of password security.

The full list of top ten most common passwords includes:

  1. 123456
  2. 123456789
  3. qwerty
  4. 12345678
  5. 111111
  6. 1234567890
  7. 1234567
  8. password
  9. 123123
  10. 987654321

While creating a strong password is a good first step to improving security, there are other behaviors employees can fix, too. Password sins are committed every day, often without the individual even realizing it. If you have employees who are stuck in some bad habits, it may be worth implementing an on-going cybersecurity training program.

The worst password management culprits: employees  

In today’s corporate world, users can leave their companies vulnerable when they poorly manage their passwords and devices. We’ve all encountered these folks in our day-to-day work lives, but you probably never realized what a security threat they really are. You might even find that you’re guilty of some of these indiscretions.

  1. The BYOD user: It’s increasingly common for companies to accommodate people who want to bring and use their own mobile device for work related purposes. However, if employees aren’t willing to meet IT security policies, it can spiral into hacked accounts or leaked information all from one infected app download.
  2. The road warrior: It’s a lot easier to not follow security best practices when working remotely. That said, if there’s no one there to make sure you’re not scrolling Facebook or surfing the web, you’re more likely to click on an infected link that could infiltrate the company’s network and allow access to accounts.
  3. The secret shopper: We’ve all seen at least one co-worker browsing for new jeans on their lunch break. However, if they’re using the same password to shop at Nordstrom’s and to login to their email, they could be leaving the company open to incredible risk.
  4. The old-schooler: Remembering passwords can undoubtedly be difficult, but the last thing you should do is display it on a post-it note for everyone to see. You never know who may be passing by your desk, so those who have trouble remembering their passwords should consider using a password manager instead.
  5. The reboot refuser: This employee never shuts down their computer and never logs out of their accounts. This could lead to huge security vulnerabilities, especially if their device is stolen or misplaced.

If you see these culprits in your work place, it may be best to drop some subtle hints that their practices aren’t kosher. If you don’t, your company may have a serious security incident to deal with in the near future.

Even when companies take the right precautions, employee mismanagement can always lead to hacking-related data breaches. However, vulnerability management can offer a safety net, enabling organizations to properly protect their data and IT assets without the cost of software or hardware, or hiring additional in-house experts.

Visit Proficio’s website to learn more about next-generation cybersecurity and vulnerability management services.