Today is World Password Day!
Did you know? According to Facebook, people’s accounts are hacked 600,000 times a day! And even worse, 80% of all attacks involve a weak or stolen password. Even more worrying, two in five people in the last year have received a notice that their personal information has been compromised, had an account hacked or their password stolen.
So why is choosing a password so important? Passwords are not only the first layer of defence to protecting your personal information but also prevent identity theft and are the main defence against computer hackers.
1. Implement the Characteristics of a Strong Password
One of the concerns people have when it comes to creating a complex password is the fear of forgetting them, especially with the endless online tools, websites and resources available to us. Multiple accounts are created by individuals and businesses using various websites and online resources, and unfortunately many resort to choosing a weak password, preferably for ease and remembrance.
Weak passwords should be avoided to protect your level of security and can avoid the likes of hackers accessing private information held on your computer. These may include the likes of your/company’s bank details, sending emails in your name, purchasing items with your money and impersonating you on any social networking and dating sites.
As well as utilising a combination of upper and lower-cases, a combination of numbers and symbols should also be implemented to add increased layers of protection to your online security.
2. Use a Different Password for Each Account
It is important that different passwords are used for various accounts and online resources. Individuals and businesses should ensure their passwords to be long, strong and unique. A different password should be used for each account, which can be implemented through a password manager. There are a range of tools available online such as Dashlane and LastPass. These services, not only let you store accounts and passwords in one place, but also help you pick high-quality secure passwords that you may want to use for the accounts that hold higher levels of sensitive personal information.
3. Password Policy
In some cases it may be necessary to implement a password policy. A password policy is a set of rules designed to enhance computer security by encouraging users to employ strong passwords and use them properly. It can often be part of an organisation’s official regulations and may be taught as part of security awareness and training. It often dictates passwords must be strong, meeting a certain criteria and also be changes after a set period of time e.g. 30 days.
4. Don’t Share Your Username or Password
Keeping your username and password safe is essential to authenticate your identity. By keeping your login information private, you’re making sure that your personal information stays private too. You are also responsible for any activity conducted under your username. If someone else is logged in to your account, you are still responsible for whatever happens. It is essential that you do not share your username and password to prevent unauthorized access, further implications and consequences.
5. Safe Password Storage
Don’t write them down. It is important to risk the temptation to write down your passwords, hide them under your keyboard and place them on a post-it note on your monitor. Remember passwords are a major defence against hackers, and developing good password practices will help keep your sensitive personal information and identify more secure.
If you find yourself needing some assistance or have some concerns over your password security, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and give us a call. We’re always happy to help.