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World Password Day Tips to Protect You & Your Business

by | May 6, 2020

Did you know that the first Thursday in May is “World Password Day”?

The idea the day came from Intel and was created to remind us all to promote better password habits. 

53% of people admit they use the same password for different accounts.  When you use the same password for more than one account, you open yourself up to trouble if there’s a data breach at one of those sites where you used an oft-used password, or if your account is hacked.

So, why do we use the same passwords across sites even if we know we shouldn’t? 

Because hard-to-hack, unique passwords are hard to remember.  It’s for this reason everyone, regardless of age, should be using a password manager like 1Password or LastPass to not only help us know which password goes with which site or app but to randomly generate passwords that are strong, unique, and hard to hack.

Most of us, especially business leaders, are guilty of re-using passwords, especially when it comes to work-related accounts.  Only 38% of those in leadership positions said their work passwords are unique compared to 70% of non-management employees.

Not only that, but a disturbing number of us share our passwords with others (34%), and many more share their login credentials for streaming and game services.  Add to that the fact that when we do share our login credentials, we do so in non-private ways:

  • 20% share them via text message
  • 19% share them via phone call
  • 15% share them in written notes
  • 10% share them in emails

So, secure passwords are vital and if you’re going to “share” those passwords with your devices so you don’t have to re-enter them every time you need to access an account on a trusted device, use a biometric option to do so, like facial identification or fingerprint ID.

Remember that all our passwords are critical pieces of our digital identities and it’s important that we #layerup, which, when it comes to protecting ourselves online means NOT relying on one method to do the trick.  Here are a few tips everyone online should adopt:

  • Have unique passwords for EVERY website and app you use and change old passwords into long, strong ones;
  • Use a password manager (2 favorites are listed above) to keep track of all your unique passwords and login information;
  • Don’t share your passwords with anyone (unless you’re a minor, in which case, your parents should have access to your accounts which can be done using one of the password managers mentioned above through their family account plans);
    • If you’re concerned about a trusted confidant not being able to access your accounts if something happens to you, print out the master password for your password manager, or instructions for how to access your accounts, and leave it with your estate attorney or in a safe or safety deposit box that no one but you and that trusted confidant can access.
  • Turn on two-factor authentication for your important accounts; and
  • Password protect your wireless router.

Happy Password Day!  Stay safe online and #layerup!

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