Happy World Password Day! Yes, another holiday you didn’t know existed is upon us, but an important one because it turns out most people are still very bad at password management. PCMag surveyed 1000 Americans last week and the results are embarrassing. 19% polled use their name in their passwords. That means you can basically guess 1 out of 5 people’s password. 16% use their wedding date, 15% use the name of a family member, 12% use their birth year, and another 12% use their house address. And that’s why we have this holiday reminder every year.
The HostDime Abuse & Security team has compiled a few recommendations to share with you to help you improve your password security and keep you and your company’s data secure.
Secure Password Tips
Choose a strong password via password keeper: The first rule of thumb is to refrain from using dictionary words, common keystroke combinations, or names for your passwords as these are guessed easily. Use a password keeper like Lastpass or Keeper to keep track of your passwords for you. Password keepers allow you access to all of your passwords by knowing just the one master password. Be sure to make backups of your password keeper so you don’t get locked out.
Protect your password: Phishing scams are specifically created to get you to hand over your password. Just today, WIRED posted an article about Nigerian email scammers and how they are more effective than ever. If you have had an incident with your password or think you may have, change it now. Not tomorrow, right now. For an even higher level of security, change your passwords periodically, making your credentials a moving target for anyone attempting to access your data.
Diversify your passwords: According to new statistics compiled by password management company LogMeIn, 91% of people know that password recycling poses security threats, yet 59% still use the same password everywhere. Ray F, Vice President of Network & Security here at HostDime, explains why you should not do this, especially for your business:
“It is always a wise strategy to utilize separate passwords for your personal accounts and your corporate identity. Besides good mnemonic strategies for remembering and creating strong passwords, utilizing a central password directory app can greatly assist if you have too many passwords to handle. Using the same password for your corporate account as your personal accounts only puts your organization at risk.”
2 Factor Authentication:Enabling two-factor authentication to your logins is a free and quick security measure that you can configure in the settings of your email, bank, and social media apps. You are beginning to see even the big social medias like Facebook and Twitter using 2FA.
The most common way to successfully perform two-factor authentication is using your password with a second factor, like your mobile phone, fingerprint, or USB. This extra step makes it extremely difficult for you to be a victim of identity theft, privacy, and other cybercrimes.
Hopefully this information proves useful to anyone looking to secure themselves better. Comment below for any questions you may have or advice on good password keeping. Stay safe out there!
Me: What’s your WiFi password?
Bartender: You need to buy a drink first.
Me: Okay. I’ll have a coke please.
Bartender: There you are, sir.
Me: Could you tell me your WiFi password now?
Bartender: Yes. “youneedtobuyadrinkfirst”, all lower case, no spaces.
— Mark D Pritchard (@MarkDPritchard) May 3, 2018
Jared Smith is HostDime’s Content Strategist.