Today is World Password Day, so we thought we’d create an article explaining the importance of strong passwords, easy ways to implement them, and tools you can use to make the transition smoother.

What is World Password Day?

World Password Day was created by Intel in 2013 to promote awareness about the importance of strong passwords in securing our digital lives. Since then, it’s taken on a life of its own, with thousands of people giving password-strengthening advice all across the world. However, it’s evident that a strong password isn’t enough to protect your online accounts from prying eyes; basic digital hygiene necessitates securing our personal and professional accounts with a layer of multi-factor authentication.

Why do I need to use a long & complicated password? They’re so difficult to remember!

Simple and easy-to-remember passwords aren’t just convenient for you; they’re convenient for bad actors on the internet too, making gaining access to your accounts not only easier to brute force with hacking tools but easier for the less technically-inclined to guess with a little bit of basic internet sleuthing.

Information that was once only known by a small circle of people in your social circle is now accessible by anyone who knows what to look for; birthdays, anniversaries, names of pets, your favourite colour, numbers or car model, and much more. Basically, if you’ve posted about it on the internet it can be found by anyone.

This is why it’s also super important to make sure all your social media accounts have the privacy settings set so only your friends or approved followers can see your posts and personal information.

Fluccs’ tips & tricks for stronger passwords

Use a password management service/program

Gone are the days of needing to remember all your passwords, as there are lots of options for keeping track of passwords without the need for pen and paper.

From paid cloud solutions to free locally-stored software, there are a myriad of password management programs that can meet your needs!
Here are just a few of them that our staff have used, both professionally and for home use:

  • Last PassLastPass is a password manager that stores encrypted passwords in the cloud for free. LastPass provides a web interface as well as plugins for several web browsers, as well as apps for smartphones. It also has the capability to save financial information, addresses, and notes.
  • KeeperKeeper is a password manager and digital vault established that uses 256-bit AES encryption, zero-knowledge architecture, and two-factor authentication to store online passwords, financial information, and other sensitive documents.
  • KeePassKeePass is a password manager that is free & open-source. Whilst it is primarily used on PCs, there are a number of unofficial ports available for smartphones.

Use a combination of different characters, and ensure your password is at least 10 characters long

The longer and more varied your password is, the more difficult it is for someone to guess or use hacking software to brute-force their way into your account.
We recommend using a combination of:

  • uppercase letters
  • lowercase letters
  • numbers
  • symbols

In 2021, these were the 10 most common passwords across the globe:

  1. 123456 Less than one second to crack, 103M+ uses counted
  2. 123456789Less than one second to crack, 46M+ uses counted
  3. 12345Less than one second to crack, 32M+ uses counted
  4. qwertyLess than one second to crack, 22M+ uses counted
  5. passwordLess than one second to crack, 20M+ uses counted
  6. 12345678Less than one second to crack, 14M+ uses counted
  7. 111111Less than one second to crack, 13M+ uses counted
  8. 123123 Less than one second to crack, 10M+ uses counted
  9. 1234567890Less than one second to crack, 9.6M+ uses counted
  10. 1234567 Less than one second to crack, 9.3M uses counted

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Whilst this may seem like an obvious tip, statistics show that too many people still use birthdays and variations of the word Password to protect their accounts.
If you’re unsure how to create your own secure password, don’t worry; there are many random password generator tools you can use.

Don’t reuse the same password for multiple accounts

Even when utilising both of the above tips to ensure a strong & secure password, you should never reuse the same password for more than one account.

Why? Because, if a hacker finds a way to crack your randomised 50 characters-long password, they’ll have the password for all your other accounts that share that password.

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When technology improves, it improves for everyone; including scammers & hackers. The best we can do to combat potential attacks is staying up-to-date on the latest information & tools we can use to keep our personal information secure. Together, we can make the internet a safer place for everyone!