“Improve your Password habits”, comes the reminder on World Password Day!

03 May 2017 | By Jish

Topics: Improving Password Habits on World Password Day


When was the last time you changed your online banking password? One month ago or three months back, or even much before that?  Are your passwords strong enough for a hacker to not to make a guess?

Passwords hold the keys to our digital life. We use them very often to unlock our mobile phones, access bank accounts and private records, do online shopping, check e-mails, social media, medical records and more. We may have many passwords that we make it simple and common for all the major accounts so that we remember them easily. NO, it is wrong!

Passwords may be easy to remember, sometimes funny, but common or bad passwords will put you at risk. The problem is that simple and common passwords are easy for cyber criminals to guess. Below given a list of such common and bad passwords, please check. This year’s World Password Day falls on May 4th which comes to reminds us of the importance of these little crypto-keys and the role they play in making sure we keep hold on the important things in our lives. Identity theft is everywhere, and your passwords are the first digital line of defence.

What are the most common/ bad passwords?

Please make sure your passwords doesn’t fall among these. The list is taken from the records of online security app firm Splash Data’s Top 25 "Worst Passwords”

  •  23456
  • password
  • 12345678
  • qwerty
  • 12345
  • 123456789
  • football
  • 1234
  • 1234567
  • baseball
  • welcome
  • 1234567890

 

The passwords such as 'starwars', 'princess' and 'solo' inspired by the 2015's biggest film release, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, are also found to be among the common vulnerable passwords.

The “World Password Day” is not just a day of celebration, but reaching out to maximum people to promote better password habits. In this era of frequent online security threats and hacks on sensitive personal data, security experts recommend password management systems to stay safe in the cyberspace.

Common Mistakes in Password Creation

Whether out of convenience, forgetfulness or laziness, most internet users aren’t good at picking secure and unique passwords. The researchers estimate that 90% of user-generated passwords are vulnerable to hacking. Even the “secured” passwords provide minimum protection in a world where massive password leaks are common.

  1. The biggest mistake people make online is reusing passwords.
  2. The most clichéd password usages for e.g., “abc123”, password123 or a pet’s name are a hacker’s dream when trying to crack into everything from bank accounts to online records.
  3. Passwords hacks happen when many companies do not encrypt the passwords they store online. The companies like Sony and Anthem are a few recent examples that garnered a lot of attention in a data breach.

Multi-Factor Authentication for Passwords

Encryption can make a big difference that even a relatively simple encryption algorithm would take years for hackers to unencrypt using a basic computer.

While many companies fail to encrypt their users’ sensitive data, they can do a better job by securing their accounts with the help of multi-factor authentication (MFA). This will add a protective layer to the users’ passwords. Check how you are benefited through the use of MFA.

MFA provides the user’s login with additional identification factors, such as a face recognition, fingerprint or a one-time code delivered via text message. If a cybercriminal gets hold of a user’s login information, in MFA enabled accounts the hacker will have to go the extra mile of entering a pin number. Here the advantage is the hacker not only able to guess the pin but cannot gain access to the user account.

How to Choose a Password- The do’s and don’ts

One of the simplest ways to access someone's online account is to guess a password. A hacking software tends to try the most common codes first. When a code is guessed, in an attempt to access other details, the hackers also tend to try other online services the victim may use, such as banking.

The don’ts

  1. Avoid using your favourite sports for passwords such as 'Baseball' and 'football'.
  2. Avoid Birthdays, dates, anniversaries and years of birth in passwords. These are easily vulnerable details with the help of your personal information.
  3. Avoid using common names such as ‘Michael’, John, Jennifer and celebrity names in passwords.  
  4. Experts suggest using eight mixed types of characters, with seemingly random combinations if possible.
  5. Don't re-use passwords. Relying on one password for all could prove particularly serious.
  6. Avoid any password using only numbers, especially sequences.

The Do’s

  1. It is advised to use a combination of upper and lower case letters along with numbers can create memorable passwords. But choose to be different by including symbols such as &*#@$ etc. For example, as in a sentence “I am 6 foot tall and stout”, use the first letters of each word- “Ia6-ftas”.
  2. Short words with spaces or other characters separating them are easy to recall and are relatively secure if seemingly random words are used.
  3. Use a password manager which can generate secure passwords and store them online
  4.  The best way is to use two-factor authentication, which will send a text with a code or use an app to verify your log-in.

On this “World Password Day”, what you must do is, make your passwords stronger, coming up with nonsense phrases you can remember, adding spaces, changing letters to numbers and the like to create something no hacker will ever be able to guess.

So are you ready to secure your digital life? Go ahead!

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