World Day Password is set for the first Thursday in May each year and is the perfect time to remind everyone of the importance of having a secure password for all your online accounts.
The UK's National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) has revealed that 23 million people worldwide use the password "123456" proving that many are still unaware of the growing dangers.
Η Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., a cyber security provider, aims to raise awareness of the most common mistakes made by users when creating and managing passwords, offering practical advice on how to protect personal data.
In 2022 the importance of having a strong password can not be overestimated as the number of applications and services used by one person is increasing day by day. Not to mention the fact that many companies now allow their employees - to offer more flexibility - to connect to the corporate network from personal devices.
As a result, these devices act as a gateway, which means that hackers can take advantage of a vulnerable endpoint to steal both personal and professional confidential data stored on the company's wider infrastructure.
Every day, cybercriminals try to steal the passwords of hundreds of users, using techniques such as phishing emails to allow them to hack thousands of services by stealing credentials. As attack methods change and threats continue to evolve, there are still ways we can keep our data protected. Using World Password Day as an occasion, re-evaluate the strength of your passwords, the policy you are pursuing by stepping up your cyber security efforts. "Each of us can prevent cybercriminals from gaining access to our data and devices," said Konstantina Koukou, Channel Manager & Check Point Evangelist
Check Point Software lists the top five practices that should be followed when creating secure and strong passwords:
1. Use a character combinationIt is a very common practice to have a password consisting of simple phrases or dates important to the user's personal life. However, this habit severely weakens a password, as information such as birthdays can easily be found by cyber criminals. To avoid this, always use a random sequence consisting of a combination of different numbers, letters, and symbols for each platform.
2. A different password for everythingWith so many applications and services now requiring login details, it is tempting to repeat the same password for all of them, but this is a bad idea. Just as we do not have the same key to open our home, office or car, we should not use the same password, as this only makes it easier for hackers to "open" our entire digital life. If you find it difficult to remember them all, you can always use the help of a password manager to help manage and create different strong passwords.
3. The more, the stronger: It is true that the longer a combination is, the harder it is to remember. But it's one of the best ways to keep your information safe, so make sure you use at least 8 digits to boost your security levels.
4. Make regular changes: Regularly changing your password may seem almost impossible. However, this can be made easier by using the same basic pattern and then adding different combinations. This way, it will be easier to remember and change them regularly.
5. Two-factor authentication is your best friendWhile taking all of the above steps will definitely improve the effectiveness of a password, it is also essential to implement a two-factor authentication. This is because new threats are constantly emerging, so to ensure that you are fully protected, being notified whenever an attacker or unauthorized person wants to access your account will only improve your security.