05 May 2022 • 10 min read
05 May 2022 • 10 min read
The World Password Day of every year is the first Thursday of May. It started in 2013 as an official holiday on the annual calendar and serves as a reminder for us to take control of our personal password strategies and promote better password habits. Today, 5 May 2022, is the 10th World Password Day.
Security researcher - Mark Burnett - first encouraged people to create a password day in his 2005 book "The Perfect Password", a day to update important passwords. Subsequently, Intel Security was inspired by him and declared the first Thursday in May as World Password Day in 2013. Since then, World Password Day has raised awareness of the need for password security.
Password is an essential part of our data-driven digital online lives. It is needed almost everywhere, from logging into your smartphone, accessing your online workspace, checking bank accounts, paying bills, and signing onto a variety of apps. We are accustomed to entering passwords dozens of times in one day.
Because passwords have become part of our daily lives, we have taken them for granted and often forget how important they are.
Password reuse statistics by First Contact reveal that 51% of internet users use the same password for work and personal accounts. Understandably, this makes it easier to remember them since the average person has 100 passwords according to one NordPass study, but it’s making accounts more vulnerable. If a hacker cracks your password on a single website, they may gain access to all of your accounts. First Contact’s password statistics for 2021 revealed that 57% of internet users who have already been scammed in phishing attacks still haven’t changed their passwords. This puts them at a huge risk of becoming victims of other cyberattacks, especially if they set the same passwords for other accounts. The consequences of corporate phishing attacks are even direr. Just a single naive employee can open the doors of a company's network, exposing it to a data breach, causing thousands of compromised passwords and other types of data leaks.
With this in mind, what steps do we need to take to ensure the security of our passwords? Start a thorough password check and reinforce your online privacy practices.
“The password is by far the weakest link in cybersecurity today.” said Michael Chertoff, former head of Homeland Security.
While passwords are still a popular way to protect data, they are far from perfect. Conversely, compromised passwords pose a significant threat to the security of organisations and individuals, and the list of compromised passwords continues to grow at an alarming rate as time goes on. In fact, according to the Verizon Data Breach Report, 81% of hacker-related breaches utilised stolen and/or weak passwords.
Eliminating passwords reduces the risk of online fraud and breaches. Experts believe that the advent of new technologies should one day lead to the elimination of passwords. This has led some security experts to suggest alternative ways to protect our data, some of which are gaining traction. Fingerprint, iris, or other biological features are becoming increasingly common, as are behavior-based authentication methods (which rely on your online behavior and geographical location) and authentication keys.
However, none of these options have successfully replaced traditional passwords, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
So passwords are still the dominant choice as there is no universally trusted alternative, but as the number of breached passwords and compromised credentials grows, it means we are forced to come up with new ways to protect our data, and it is now more common to add authentication layers to secure our data.
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We've created and left tons of passwords in this digital world. It allows us to access online banking, shopping, private work, shared space, streaming, social media, and much of our communications. It brings us convenience accompanied by the disaster.
Password breaches are getting serious as more apps and websites are created, hackers and cybercrime can always find a way to steal online credentials and perform some bad activities. On today’s World Password Day, try to take some steps to secure your passwords and personal data as passwords shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Senior Cybersecurity Analyst & Marketing Specialist @ GeeTest
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