It seems every day of the year is used to draw attention to some cause, many of them pretty meaningless, but one that is relevant to our technology-filled lives is ‘World Password Day’.
May 5th, 2022 will serve as a global initiative, to campaign for the use of secure passwords by raising awareness of the ways cybercriminals target those with poor passwords used by individuals and those in businesses.
By now, hopefully, many techAU readers have found their way to complex passwords, layered with Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) on any service that offers it. Some people leverage password managers built into the browser, which can help as you move between the desktop and mobile and more recently these started suggesting strong passwords on account signups.
There are also plenty of dedicated password managers like LastPass that can help secure your credentials and for those in a business context, there are business tiers of these services that can help all your users.
Security is often about finding the right balance of ensuring your data is secure, while minimising the inconvenience to employees and avoiding their frustrations leading to a laptop being thrown at you.
One thing is for sure, the damage possible from a compromised account can be devastating. Phishing attempts remain high on the list of threats that can trick users into entering their credentials into a fake website, capturing the username and password. These would then be tried against many services, as people are still regularly re-using passwords on different services.
A key prevention against this is the MFA step that sends a code to your phone, via SMS or even better, an authentication app like Google or Microsoft Authenticator. This means to log into your account, you need something you know (username/password) and something you have (your phone).
Given your phone becomes an unlock device for your accounts, devices and even your car, it’s equally important to secure your phone, in case you ever lose it.
Passwords – while designed to give you access to online worlds while protecting your information – are often at the forefront of cyberattacks. And while time and again we find that consumers and businesses are not taking the appropriate steps to safeguard their passwords, it is more important than ever for everyone to take their online security more seriously.
World Password Day is an important moment to take stock of your online habits and ensure you take the necessary steps to keep your online information safe – especially passwords, which are your first line of defense. This comes clearly into focus with new data from our research team, which found consumers average nearly 18 passwords for their online accounts, with nearly three quarters of consumers noting they’ve reset their password at least once in a month because they forgot them.
Given the frustrations that can often accompany keeping track of unique passwords for our ever-expanding digital lives, we also found that only half of respondents are confident in their passwords protecting them from a breach. Leveraging a password manager alleviates many of the pain points that accompany password hygiene while managing your logins for you – so you can get back to focusing on things that matter.
Karim Toubba, CEO of LastPass
Stay safe out there and for more information, head to the World Password Day on NationalToday.com.