Web Hosting Blog
The first Thursday of May every year is World Password Day! World Password Day serves to promote better password habits among all users. Our passwords are some of the most important and sensitive information we have, they are the key to our most sensitive data. Online banking, shopping accounts that hold our bank details, social media, our private communications. If you have a hosting package you will have various passwords relating to this too, and it’s important to keep them secure.
In fact, the best possible thing that you can do on this World Password Day is take a quick review of all the passwords you use online and think about whether there is anything that you could do to make them more secure and effective. To help you, here are a couple of tips on the best practices to adopt when constructing a good password.
Don’t use the same password for everything.
One of the most obvious ways to mitigate the impact of your password being intercepted and personal data being compromised is to make sure you’re not using the same password on all of your accounts. However, this is something that most of us are guilty of. It’s not surprising. It can be difficult to remember multiple passwords and it seems like the number of things we have to keep track of online just keeps growing as more and more of our day to day life relocates online. We no longer receive our bills in the post, as we log in to our utilities online. We don’t get bank statements as we have online banking. Our music is online and protected by a password; we need an email address and password to create an account for our phone. Therefore, when you find a password that works for you, i.e. it’s easy for you to remember but not so easy for anyone else to guess, there’s a strong temptation to stick with it whenever you have to set up a password for something new. However, don’t give in to this temptation. Think about the bigger picture here. If you’re using that same password for dozens of online accounts, it only takes the compromise one of those sites or businesses for a cybercriminal to have access to a master key for your entire online identity. As you cannot possibly vouch for the security of every single site that you use online, you can see how this is just not worth the risk. So use something different every time you need to set up a password. If you find it difficult to remember multiple passwords, record them and store them somewhere secure that only you have access to.
Don’t have an easy to guess password.
Do you know what the most popular passwords used in 2018 were?
Believe it or not, they were “123456” and “password”, according to a study done by SplashData. It goes without saying that using either of these will put you at a massive risk of identity theft and data loss! Other easy to guess passwords include using your own name, your own company name, and one which you may not be aware of – your mother’s maiden name. A record of your mother’s maiden name is freely available on the Births, Marriages and Deaths register in the UK, which is a public record that anyone can access if they wish. So if you are being specifically targeted by a fraudster wanting access to your data, they may look to this register for information to help them do so. Other easy to guess passwords include keyboard patterns (QWERTY, for example), celebrity names, and pop culture references (Best to leave Pikachu and Daenerys out of your password choices!)
And finally, use a combination of characters in your passwords.
This piece of advice is an oldie but a goodie. When you’re choosing your password, throw some capital letters, numbers and special characters in to the mix and you’ll make it much more difficult for anyone to get hold of. Instead of using the phrase “baconandeggs” as your password, you could use “B4c0n&3gg5!”, it’s much harder to guess!
Happy World Password Day everyone, stay safe out there!