The beginning of May – one of the best times of the year that many look forward to. Feast of barbecue, black pudding, tuna, the day of Harry Potter, Star Wars, and this year also the beginning of the marriage adventure of our friends (congratulations and all the best on the new way of life!).
With May also comes another important day – it might seem that it only concerns the IT industry, but that’s not true! The World Password Day. Once in a while it is good to remind ourselves about some rules, which will help us to feel safer in this cyber world.
123456, qwerty, password – these are some of the most popular access passwords set by users in 2021 according to NordPass report. With access to the right tools, we can crack almost any of the 200 passwords listed therein. What follows is that we can get unauthorized access to anything in less than 1 second. As an interesting fact I will quote 10 most popular passwords used in Poland. Our compatriots most often use the following passwords: 12345, 123456 and 123456789. Others are standard qwerty, zaq12wsx, monika, karolina, misiek, mateusz and polska.
The password is often a reflection of our interests, which can be a clue for potential burglars. The aforementioned report indicates that in many countries ‘Onedirection’ is back in favour, Liverpool is the most popular club in the world, most people want a Ferrari or Porsche in their garage and the dolphin is their favourite animal. Of course, we still have the issue of swearing – no surprise there: men use it far more often than women.
How does all this work? Depending on what we are securing, we use different quality passwords. In addition, out of convenience, we write them down in notebooks left in plain sight or – even worse – around the workstation or in the phone case. If you do the same, it is high time to change. For your own safety!
Maybe simple, but the best methods to start with are:
– don’t use the same password as your username,
– Don’t use names, surnames, dates of birth or places of residence,
– Do not give your password to anyone,
– give the password at least 8 characters, preferably a combination of numbers, letters and special characters.
Additionally, you should change your password from time to time (e.g. at the beginning of the year) and make sure that it is not too similar to the previous one.
What else can we do to improve security?
It is worth using password managers – programs that can help you store various complicated passwords, often generated by them. Many of them have the functionality of connecting e.g. to the browser and auto-complete, as long as we first enter the main password to the manager.
Another security feature is 2FA – two-step authentication. After entering the password to the service, we are additionally asked for a code, which we will receive on the email or phone number provided earlier during registration.
U2F keys or biometrics used mainly in smartphones are other modern security features that will effectively protect us against data loss or hacking into our mailbox. It is worth improving your security, you never know when a small thing like changing your password will save your data, peace of mind or money.
In the meantime, SOFTIQ will soon hold a practical in-house training, during which we will discuss the security of passwords and accounts based on managers and other security methods.
This post is also available in: Polski (Polish)