By Jon Cohen:
World Password Day is an annual event that takes place on the first Thursday of May every year. This year, World Password Day falls on May 5, 2023. This day aims to promote password best practices and increase awareness about the importance of strong passwords in securing our online accounts.
Passwords are the first line of defense against unauthorized access to our personal and confidential information. However, many people still use weak passwords that can easily be guessed or hacked. According to a recent survey, the most commonly used password is "123456." This is a clear indication that many people are not taking password security seriously.
"Layer Up Your Passwords"
By using multiple layers of security to protect your online accounts, you will increase your level of security and decrease the likelihood of a password breach. This can be done by using strong and unique passwords, two-factor authentication, and a password manager.
Password managers are an essential tool in password security. They allow you to store all your passwords in one secure location and generate strong, unique passwords for each of your online accounts. This means that you do not have to remember multiple passwords and can easily access your accounts without compromising security. Some popular password manager choices include 1Password, LastPass, and BitWarden. Each of these offers a stand-alone app that can be used on your computer, tablet, and phone. Alternatively, you can also use the iCloud password manager on Apple devices and Google password manager with Chrome.
Strong and unique passwords are essential to keeping your online accounts secure. A strong password should contain a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. It should be at least 12 characters long and should not contain any personal information, such as your name, birth date, or phone number. A great way to come up with a strong password is to use the password generator that is found in all modern password managers.
Ian Leysen, CEO, CSO, and Co-Founder of Datadobi said, “World Password Day serves as an important reminder to individuals and businesses alike about the critical importance of password security in protecting sensitive data. World Password Day is also a reminder that as the frequency of data breaches and cyber-attacks continue to rise, we cannot rely on passwords alone.”
Two-factor authentication is another layer of security that you can use to protect your online accounts. This involves using something you know (your password) and something you have (a mobile device) to authenticate your identity. This means that even if someone knows your password, they still cannot access your account without your mobile device.
Good password hygiene won’t only affect your personal data but your professional data as well. It is almost more important to secure your professional data, as this data might be related to your work, client info, health records, your company, or trade secrets. In many corporate environments, another layer of data is often used: a physical key.
Yubico, the maker of the Yubikey, is often considered a leader in this field. The key must be inserted into the computer or brought near the phone to unlock the password (either for email, web apps, or banking access). The Yubikey acts similarly to how your house keys or car key give you entrance to your home or vehicle.
In conclusion, World Password Day is a reminder that password security is essential in today's digital age. By layering up your passwords, you can protect your online accounts from unauthorized access and keep your personal and confidential information secure. Remember to use strong and unique passwords, enable two-factor authentication, use password managers, and even consider a physical key in order to stay safe online.
Jon Cohen’s contributions can be found on radio, TV, and print media. Jon makes “geek speak” understandable for the masses and has been a voice in the tech community for over 20 years. A former “Geek Squad” member as well as an “Apple Genius,” he offers a fresh perspective on technology, photography, and social media. Twitter: @cohenHD