It might seem like the most obvious thing to say about passwords, but for World Password Day 2023 (today, May 4), we’re here to remind you to stop reusing passwords.
Yes, it’s a pain to remember them. But making unique ones for each account is the safest route.
This isn’t the only password-related advice we have for you. Steven Scheurmann, regional vice president for ASEAN at Palo Alto Networks, shared a few simple tips for securing your accounts.
Go for longer passwords
Ensure long passwords with a good mix of different character types—letters, numbers, and special characters. An eight-character password is easier to guess by a computer than a 16- or 24-character password.
Don’t use compromised ones
If you go and Google “commonly used passwords,” you’ll see a list that any attacker uses when trying to guess passwords. If there is a default password on an internet-facing device, change it ASAP! Do not rely on those default passwords.
Update your passwords regularly
This might be a pain, but consider it the standard operating procedure to prevent risk. It doesn’t take long to do and helps secure your accounts if the passwords get stolen or phished.
Use multi-factor authentication methods
If a password is stolen or guessed, no matter how hard you’ve tried to be unique, having other methods to confirm it is you trying to get to a resource or a web service you use is vital. Many different cloud, security, and operating system vendors have multi-factor authentication apps that you can install on your phone to link to almost every website that supports it. Try to seek these out and enable two-factor authentication where you can.
Scheurmann, of course, mentioned avoiding password recycling. He cautioned against password managers. But I’d advise doing your research to see which ones work for you and are safe because they’re still an option you can use.
These are the basics we sometimes forget to implement. So, if you needed a reminder to do a quick password update, this is it!
What password-related rule do you live by? Let us know! And check out our other Random Tech Tips here!