Remembering a million different passwords are meant to keep our devices safe and secure. But how effective actually is your password?
“You have input the wrong password too many times and your account has been temporarily locked. Please click here to reset your password.”
How many times a month do you come across that? It’s a familiar sight for everyone who owns a phone or a PC and has access to any digital accounts. Passwords are an essential first step to protecting ourselves against cybercriminals and prying eyes but just how effective are passwords?
It’s easy to get annoyed by password rules such as:
- Include at least one number
- Include at least one capital letter
- Include one special character
- Must not be your birthdate
- Must not be a previous password
They force us to come up with more and more elaborate passwords, each easier to forget than the last. But what happens when we aren’t forced to pick something more complicated?
Over 35 percent of people surveyed for the UK Government’s Cyber Streetwise campaign say they don’t create strong passwords because they struggle to remember them. Nearly 47 percent of these people have unsafe password habits, such as using pet names or significant dates. In total, 75% of people admitted they don’t follow best practice when creating passwords.
In 2013, an Ars Technica reporter was able to crack 8,000 out of 16,000 encrypted passwords in just one day. The reporter had no experience of hacking, cracking or being a cyber-criminal. If it’s that easy to crack encrypted passwords, then what chance do these commonly used passwords have?
If you currently use any of the passwords on the above list then read on to discover how to create a strong password.
How to create a strong password
Use at least 12 characters
Avoid common phrases
Avoid your birthday and name
Add numbers and symbols
Add capital letters
Don’t use a Life Word
This is a password that some people use for everything. It will make a cyber criminal’s job a lot easier
Use a whole phrase
Think of a long, memorable phrase and create an acronym of its first letters. Add numbers, symbols and capitalisation to it.
Educating your staff on the best practice for creating passwords is the easiest way to help them keep your business and their personal lives safe and secure.