Today is #PasswordDay – a day celebrated to encourage us to take care of our passwords in order to help protect ourselves online. Passwords are used to secure the most private part of our lives and confidential information, so why wouldn’t we take the necessary steps required to help ensure our passwords are secure? By gaining access to our passwords, we leave ourselves vulnerable to our personal information and money being stolen.
Passwords have been around as long as we have been keeping secrets, originating in secret societies and organisations. Back then, passwords were used to ensure the person you were speaking to was indeed the right person, and before someone could gain access to somewhere.
These days, passwords are used to protect our digital assets, acting as our first digital line of defence. People no longer have just one or two passwords; we can have multiple passwords across several sites which can make the task of not only remembering, but also protecting passwords that little bit tougher.
As it is Password Day, we have highlighted below some tips to help protect your passwords, and in return, your digital assets.
Change your password regularly
When was the last time you changed your password? Don’t wait until you’ve been hacked – remember to change your password every 3 – 6 months.
Don’t use the same password for different accounts
If you use the same password for multiple accounts, you are putting yourself at graver risk. If one account gets hacked, it’s very easy to the rest of your accounts to be vulnerable too.
Variety is key
We are encouraged to make passwords between 8-15 characters long, using a range of letters, symbols and numbers – all of which can be difficult to remember. When following this format, try and think of a memorable yet creative password, whether this is a random phrase using a combination of numbers, symbols and letters. Password generators will help with this. Remember not to create passwords which may be associated with your personal life such as a place you live, a pet’s name or your birthday to name a few.
Be careful of where you enter your password
Logging into an account in a busy place? Be cautious of people shoulder surfing for example when using public transport, and never save your password for a device that is not yours.
Sharing is caring – but don’t do it with your passwords
It may seem harmless sharing your Netflix logins with a family member or friend – but you never know who they could share it with next. It may also be tempting or seem logical to share your log in details with a co-worker if you are going to be off for a few days in case they need anything on your account, but don’t do it.
Remember, a password is your first digital line of defence – take the extra steps to help make them secure.