The first Thursday in May is World Password Day and serves to promote better password habits.
As more and more of our daily processes move online, so too does the rise in the number of passwords we need to create and store. The consequences of opting for simple passwords or using them across many accounts can be disastrous. With phishing scams and data breaches on the rise, it is vital now more than ever to adopt measures that protect your personal details from cybercriminals.
So how do your passwords stack up? With reports showing that over 80% of data breaches are caused by compromised, weak, and re-used passwords, make it a priority this World Password Day to review your online defences.
Here are some of the best ways to keep your personal details safe:
1. Always create complex passwords – Use at least 12 to 15 characters with a combination of letters (upper and lower case), numbers, and symbols. Do not include dictionary words or any reference to your personal information.
2. Do not use the same password on multiple accounts – If one of your passwords gets caught up in a data breach, you do not want to make it easy for cybercriminals to access your other online services. Always create a unique password for every account.
3. Use a password manager – Store credentials securely in an application such as LastPass or 1Password. These types of apps sync across desktop and mobile, have autocomplete options, and help you generate complex passwords.
4. Never send login details by email – Although it is best practice never to share passwords, occasionally the need does arise. The best methods are to communicate details verbally, forward via an email encryption method, or send through a password vault.
5. Enable multi-factor or two factor authentication (MFA / 2FA) – By adding a second verification method, such as fingerprint, pin code via text message, or authentication app on your mobile phone, you reduce the risk of your account being compromised.
6. Be aware of phishing and spam emails – Always check links before you click and be suspicious of emails that ask you to enter your login details. Always navigate to the direct URL and login there if you are unsure.
7. Protect yourself when out in public – Always lock your device when it is not in use, and be sure no one watches when you enter your password. It is best to avoid entering passwords when using unsecured Wi-Fi connections as hackers can intercept your credentials and data.
This World Password Day take a moment to review your online safety. You can also check out our blog article
‘Have I Been Hacked? How To Check If Passwords Are On The Dark Web’ to find out if any of your credentials may have been compromised.