Today, May 5th 2016, is World Password Day. A global celebration to promote better password habits. A day when we can take a look at our password security and make changes to improve it.
Password Security – How secure are your passwords?
Do you use a simple password and use that same password for multiple accounts? You will be surprised how many people do. The image at the top of this post shows you the password security of the password “snowman12” which would take 42 minutes to crack. You can try it yourself at https://howsecureismypassword.net/
Which is why step number one of improving password habits is:
Create strong passwords
The key to a strong password is length. Your passwords should be 8 characters long at the very least, and difficult for someone to guess. Avoid using personal information, especially if someone can find the answer on social media, or by searching your name online.
In addition to length, secure passwords also use a mix of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols.
Okay so I will update my password to “Sno%wm”An12” and check the password security now… Brilliant it now says it will take 4 hundred years to crack the password. It is a lot more difficult to remember but I will just write it down and use it for all my accounts.
It is better than using a simple password for all your accounts but it brings us on to step number two:
Use a different password for each account
If someone has access to your one. key password, they have access to everything.
Cyber criminals know people reuse passwords, and after a major password leak, they’ll try using this passwords and email addresses to get into all kinds if sites. Often, it works.
The solution is simple: have different passwords for every online account. That way if one account is compromised you can rest easy knowing your other accounts are still safe.
How are you going to remember all those different, complicated passwords though?
Get a password manager
A good password manager safely stores all your passwords, remembers them and can generate strong passwords for you. This makes it incredibly easy to use different, hard to remember passwords for every account, so you only have to remember the one master password to get in.
We use and recommend LastPass to our customers.
And to make sure our password security is as good as it gets:
Turn on multi-factor authentication
Multi-factor authentication adds another step before authorizing a user. For example, a code can be text to your mobile which has to be entered before you can continue. This means that someone would have to know your username, password and also have access to your phone before they could access your account.
Sounds like too much work?
It is a lot less hassle than changing everything after your accounts have been compromised and you’ve cancelled your credit and debit cards and persuaded your bank that you never made those purchases on your latest statement.