Bill Gates predicted the death of passwords more than a decade ago. But later, Microsoft themselves ended up releasing their identity management solution to help companies overcome their password issues. While experts are trying hard to kill passwords with bio-metrics and other complicated authentication techniques, even today passwords still remain one of the most affordable, easy, and secure methods of authentication around the globe. The first Thursday of May every year is celebrated as World Password Day worldwide to raise awareness about the importance of password management best practices and how to tighten online security.
Some weird password facts:
•23.2 million users were using ‘123456’ as their passwords, reported a breach analysis.
•For about 20 years, the password for the US nuclear missiles was ‘00000000’.
•In 2010, Facebook had a master password “Chuck Norris” that would work for any account.
This all shows that people are using easy-to-remember weak passwords, leaving their accounts vulnerable. The good news is, securing your accounts is easy with a few simple steps and the right tools.
Start using a password manager
It’s hard to configure strong and unique passwords for each account and remember them every day. You need to start using a password manager if you haven’t already. Consolidate all your passwords and lock them in a centralized encrypted repository. Today, password managers like Zoho Vault provide an actionable password strength report that will help you find out which of your passwords are weak, and the overall password strength of your account.
Enable two-factor authentication
Just a single level of authentication with a username and password is not enough to protect your online accounts in this era of cyber attacks. Make sure you turn on two-factor authentication for all your critical accounts such as banks and social media. Even if someone gains access to your password, they can’t access your account without the second element, usually a one-time password via SMS or email to authenticate. It is good to have an additional level of security to protect your accounts.
Teach kids and less tech-savvy adults about online security
Security threats are not only targeted at large corporations and high-potential individuals. Anyone who browses the Internet is a potential victim of cyber-criminals today. They use many tricks such as links to malicious websites and drive-by downloads. Help kids and friends and relatives who needs the help to create an email address and monitor their activities. Educate them about the recent cyber-security incidents, and make them familiar with tech keywords such as “phishing” and “spoofing.”
We hope these tips are useful and informative to you on this World Password Day. When it comes to cyber crimes, don’t trust the “it can’t happen to me” approach. Be proactive, stay up-to-date with recent technological trends, and also teach your friends and family about the pressing needs of online security.