This day is set aside to create awareness for those with an online presence to enjoy private services. Passwords are unique to each person and ensure unauthorized access to digital platforms and accounts. They serve as gatekeepers for digital identities, allowing people to shop online, use internet banking services, enjoy social media, and send and receive information.
Since we are living in a digital era, it is imperative to have a strong password for your own privacy. The security of a password is measured in terms of strength, which is why people normally integrate a mix of characters to make it harder for anyone to guess or memorize and access their accounts.
It is important to have a long, unique, and slightly complex password to protect your valuable information from unauthorized access. Another tactic people use is to change their password after a predetermined amount of time, like a month or two. If you think or suspect your account has been hacked or accessed without your knowledge or permission, you should change it quickly and set up multi-factor authentication.
Password Security Tips
- Change passwords periodically: Switching up the passwords you created for your different online accounts can reassure you that you’re taking all the necessary steps to keep your accounts and data safe.
- Never reuse passwords: Recycling old passwords leaves your accounts vulnerable to credential stuffing efforts made by lurking cybercriminals. Try to create unique passwords for each account.
- 3 Don’t use personal information: Using names, birthdays, addresses, or phone numbers in your password could jeopardize its effectiveness against cyberattacks.
- 4 Randomize patterns and sequences: Randomizing the patterns and sequences of letters, numbers, and characters can protect you against password spraying attacks.
- 5 Never share your passwords: Sharing your passwords with friends or family compromises the Cyber Safety of your personal accounts.
- 6 Prioritize password length: The longer your password, the more difficult it will be for hackers to guess.
- 7 Check your password strength: Password strength checkers allow people to validate the effectiveness of the password they created.
- 8 Use a variety of letters, numbers, and symbols: Hackers are less likely to gain access to accounts with complex passwords incorporating a variety of numbers, letters, and characters
- 9 Download a trusted password manager: Password managers are an excellent tool for people struggling to ideate and organize their own passwords.
- 10 Avoid public Wi-Fi: Using public Wi-Fi without a VPN allows hackers to track your online presence and potentially expose your device’s data, including saved credentials.
Effects of Stolen Passwords
To help improve your understanding of the true danger of not knowing how secure your passwords are, these statistics help underscore how important password security can be.
Individuals and stolen password consequences:
- 4 out of 10 people have had their data compromised online. (Google, 2019)
- There were over 240,000 phishing scam complaints reported in 2020. (FBI, 2020)
- 80 percent of data breaches involving hacking are connected to passwords. (Verizon, 2020)
- 63 percent of consumers fear their identity will be stolen. (Norton, 2021)
Businesses and stolen password consequences:
- Across all industries, it took 280 days on average to identify and contain a data breach. (IBM, 2020)
- 59 percent of U.S. consumers are likely to avoid businesses that have become a victim of a cyberattack within the past year. (Arcserve, 2020)
- 57 percent of all companies have experienced a mobile phishing incident. (Wandera, 2020)
- 68 percent of business leaders feel their risk of experiencing a cyberattack is increasing. (Accenture, 2019)
In addition to a good password, CompuType recommends using multi-factor authentication (MFA). Passwords are important but MFA makes your account much more secure.
Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) is an authentication method that requires the user to provide two or more verification factors to gain access to a resource. Most MFA methods are based on one of three type of additional information.
- Things you know (knowledge), such as a password or PIN
- Things you have (possession), such as a badge or smartphone
- Things you are (inherence), such as a biometric like fingerprints or voice recognition
Password security is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to cybersecurity. To create a reliable and secure ecosystem for yourself, you need to think about all the ways you can protect your devices, from using a firewall to monitoring your network for suspicious activity. Adopting this mindset will make it much harder for cybercriminals to take advantage of you. CompuType can help you evaluate your company and employees’ overall security situation.