World Password Day 2019

World Password DayThe Tip

We’ve discussed the topic of passwords a few times throughout other posts in this newsletter, but it’s a topic that’s important to highlight, particularly as we gear up for World Password Day on May 2nd. This annual event was created to highlight the importance a password has on your cybersecurity.

The Detail

Many people tend to overlook the idea of creating passwords by not setting them up well, creating weak ones, or using the same password for more than one account. All of these bad habits can eventually lead to a cyber attack, fraud, or even worse, identity theft.

What is World Password Day?
With increasing cybersecurity threats emerging each year, several of the world’s largest companies, nonprofits, and cybersecurity organizations decided to join forces in a collaborative effort. Their efforts were aimed at educating Internet users everywhere on the importance of using strong layered passwords. Their efforts have helped to increase the security of Internet users in 251 different countries by asking users to pledge better password habits.

Why does it matter?
Are you aware that identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in Canada and the US? In today’s world, we store more data on the Internet than ever before. Risking the protection of this data could mean putting your information into the hands of a cybercriminal. Should you fall victim to identity theft, this means that a criminal has accessed your personally identifiable information and used it to commit fraud. Typically they will use this information to create false credentials or open new accounts in your name. Practicing strong password habits can help prevent you from ever exposing your PII to any potential cybercriminals.

Taking Action
Though it’s important to educate yourself on ways to stay safe online, taking action is the only way to truly protect yourself. When it comes to passwords there are several ways to ensure you are getting the best protection possible for your devices. Here are 5 actionable tips we’d like to remind you to keep in mind not only for World Password Day but every day:

  1. Passphrases are better than passwords – Not only is a passphrase easier to remember for the user, but it’s also much harder for a hacker to guess. Nowadays, there are higher level tools available to hackers that can easily crack the code to dozens of passwords on users accounts instantly. However, passphrases have proven to be much harder for these systems to guess.
  2. Do not reuse passwords – Using the same password for multiple accounts is a bad habit. If a hacker is able to access one account, this means that they’ll now have access to all of your other accounts with the same login credentials.
  3. Use a password manager – When you’re using different credentials for each account, it can be hard to keep track of which one you use for each. Password managers can safely store each of them to help you log in with ease and security each time an account asks you to.
  4. Always use two-factor verification (when available) – Adding additional layers of security to your accounts in any way that you can is a smart move. With two-factor authentication processes, a prompt will appear on your device asking you to prove your identity by either accepting the login on another device or by entering a security code.
  5. Never share your passwords – Though it can be tempting to share your password with your friends or significant others, you should refrain from doing so. If anything should ever go wrong with these relationships, these people will have access to your information and could use it against you. It can also easily lead to both of you getting hacked if one account is compromised.

If you have more questions about these topics, please contact UTS, and we’d be happy to offer what guidance we can. There is also a wealth of information to be found using your favourite search engine.