World Password Day is celebrated on the first Thursday of May each year and aims to encourage people to improve their password habits. With so many people still working from home and everyone spending more time online than they have ever done before it is worth giving cyber security some consideration.
A survey completed by password manager software LastPass found that whilst over 90% of people know it is bad practice to use the same password (or a variation of) across multiple sites, over 50% of people still do it as they are worried about forgetting their log in details.
Another piece of research conducted by Bitwarden, an open-source password manager app, indicated that only 28% of people are using a password manager to keep track of their passwords.
It is clear from these research studies that most people are not using secure and unique passwords for each different site they log into, and therefore putting themselves and their data at risk.
In celebration of World Password Day, we have asked our IT specialists for their top tips to keep your passwords secure:
- Use a strong and unique password for your email account, if a hacker can get into your mailbox they could potentially reset passwords for other accounts using the ‘forgot password’ feature.
- Typically email accounts are the most common accounts to be hacked, therefore you should never store other passwords in your mailbox.
- When setting passwords try and use a combination of three random words.
- Before you type your password into a website to log-in, make sure the site is genuine and it is what you think it is. Be extra vigilant if you have followed a link to a website from an email as this could be a phishing scam.
- Turn on two factor authentications where possible as this drastically increases the level of account security.
- Never use ordinary dictionary words, or dictionary words disguised by swapping out characters for numbers, e.g. ‘5ecur3’. Hacking tools will quickly crack these.
- Lastly, as we all have hundreds of passwords to keep track of it is always best practice to use a password manager such as LastPass or 1Password. This will ensure each site you log into will have a unique and strong password.
Technology is evolving and the likelihood is that passwords will soon be replaced with combinations of PIN, fingerprints, facial recognition and authenticator apps for increased security, but we aren’t quite there yet. For the time being it is worth spending 20 minutes increasing your password security to ensure you are not putting yourself at risk of being targeted.
To speak to one of our IT experts about your IT security and password management get in touch with us today.