If your digital life depended on your password, how secure would it be?

If your digital life depended on your password, how secure would it be?

The World Password Day was celebrated, for the first time, on May of 2013, promoted by Intel Security. Every year this celebration receives more attention since, in order to enjoy all the benefits of the internet it is important to do so safely.

Creating strong passwords is essential to protect devices, profiles and confidential information. Although much has been said about this, according to ESET, up to December 2019 the following was the ranking of the most used passwords: 

  1. 12345
  2. 123456
  3. 123456789

According to the company, these passwords made up of numeric strings, were used to secure 6.3 million accounts. The list of passwords continues with “test1” and “password”.

As long as the use and creation of passwords is necessary, you must do your best to use strong passwords. This is especially true now that cybercrime is one of the most lucrative industries in the world by taking advantage of any vulnerability of companies and citizens to steal data and monetize it.

How to create a strong password?

Although the use of fingerprint or facial recognition is increasingly common for mobile applications. You still need to use passwords to access email, online banking, or other internet services. Hence the importance of choosing a good password for each and every one of the services or profiles that you have, on and off the internet. 

Here are some basic recommendations for creating a strong password:

  • Do not use the same password for different services.
  • Do not use obvious personal data (names, surnames, date of birth, etc.).
  • Make it a random password, with letters and numbers that have no apparent meaning.
  • The password should be neither too short nor too long, between 8 and 12 bytes.
  • Never share it with anyone, or leave it in plain sight.
  • Reinforce the keyword with 2FA (two-factor authentication).
  • If necessary, password managers can be used to remember them.
  • Change the password from time to time. Even more so if the service in question has been the victim of a hack or user data has been exposed.

ESET assures that an ideal password is one made up of a phrase with letters, numbers and signs. If the assembly criteria is correct, it usually results in a password that is very difficult to violate and easy to remember. For example: 4V3NG3R$3NDG4M3, 4L1C31NW0ND3RL4ND, TH3_F4NT4$T1C4.

Other safety recommendations

Nowadays it is not unusual that a user manages dozens of accounts that serve to access a huge number of websites and services of all kinds. If you use more than one browser, and applications and services that go beyond the browser itself, a dedicated password manager is the best option. A good manager should automate the process of generating passwords and accessing websites and services.

The password for a cooking recipe blog is not as relevant as the password for online banking, therefore it is recommended to keep the most sensitive credentials separately. Remember also that, even though users apply the best practices, security will also depend on the accessed service and whether it has implemented measures that protect their users, or not.

References:

ESET Ireland. (December 17th, 2019). The worst passwords of 2019: Did yours make the list? https://blog.eset.ie/2019/12/17/the-worst-passwords-of-2019-did-yours-make-the-list/

National Today. (May 7th, 2020). World Password Day – May 7, 2020: https://nationaltoday.com/world-password-day/

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You may also be interested:

Myths about the Internet in the context of COVID-19

The importance of encryption

Main threats on the Internet


Last modified: 25/05/2020

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