World Password Day might seem like just another fake holiday that someone in the IT industry created, but there’s a real focus on reminding people to protect their passwords.
Just about every day now, thousands of people are realizing their private accounts or work access has been compromised, allowing various unauthorized parties into information, assets, files and more that can literally turn a life upside down. Even worse, tens of thousands more may have no idea they have been compromised as the damage hasn’t been applied yet but their account is already opened.
Change Passwords Frequently
The easiest and most effective way to reduce password hack risk and protect an account is to regularly change one’s password at least every 90 days, and to use a complicated non-literary password. The second part is essential in blocking programs from guessing passwords. Computer bots can make very short work of literary passwords, those that use real words in some kind of combination, including names. The program simply goes through the known dictionary of all words and combinations until it guesses the right fit and breaks the password. The process usually only takes a few hours at best.
However, if one uses a password format that combines lower cap and upper cap letters, numbers and special symbols such as # or &, even the best cracking programs will take years trying to guess a password 15 digits or longer. And that’s the point of the World Password Holiday. The more people are educated on the simple steps they can take to protect themselves and their digital accounts, the less likely they will be in becoming another statistic in the news.
Passwords are meant to be secure. However, people tend to be the weakest link. If you practice easy-to-apply password safety, however, you will rest easier knowing you’re taking steps to protect your identity online.