Today Is World Password Day 2018

Before we all get carried away that tomorrow is Star Wars Day (May 4th Be With You) and all that dribble, today’s a day to consider for another reason.

When Is World Password Day

World Password Day is an initiative that aims to promote better password habits among Internet users around the world. Initiated by Intel in 2013, the annual event (which takes place on the first Thursday of May each year) will be celebrated on 3rd May 2018 and is supported by more than 170 organisations including Dell, Microsoft, and Toshiba.

What is Password Security?

Password security plays an extremely important role when it comes to protecting your identity on the Internet. After all, it keeps unauthorised users from breaking into your online accounts and stealing your personal information for their nefarious purposes like impersonating you to commit crimes in your name.

What Can You Do On World Password Day?

You can become a part of the World Password Day by resetting your old and weak passwords to long and uncrackable ones together with reminding your friends, family, and colleagues to do the same. With identity theft and other cyber crimes on the rise, setting robust passwords is crucial and here we’re going to show you exactly how to go about that.

How To Check Your Password Strength?

One of the most common password cracking techniques out there is a brute force attack that involves checking all possible key combinations until the right one is found. Since hackers use complex algorithms to try multiple combinations at super fast speeds, rest assured that your short passwords will be cracked in no time! So if you want to know how long it would take to crack your password, take a look at the How Secure Is My Password password strength checker website.

Password strength is important as it measures the resistance of a password against brute force attacks or guessing. This will enable you to create passwords that aren’t only unpredictable, but also extremely difficult to guess!

A Little Trivia. Did You Know?

During the summer of 2012 the social media platform LinkedIn.Com was hacked and lost all of its users’ data. A few months later, part of the list of user passwords reappeared on the Internet. Further, in July 2012, hackers exposed more that 450,000 passwords from Yahoo! as a “Wake Up Call”, with 137,559 being leaked into the public domain.

Declan McCullagh from CNET wrote a program to analyse those exploited passwords. Here are some stark realities of the 137,559 Yahoo! credentials that were leaked:

  • The number of times a sequential list of numbers was used, with “123456” by far being the most popular password was 2,295.
  • The number of times “111111” was used as a password was 160.
  • The number of times the word “password” was used as the password was 780.
  • The number of times the word “password” was used in conjunction with a few numbers behind it such as password123 was 233.
  • The number of times the word “welcome” was used was 437.
  • The number of times the word “ninja” was used was 333.
  • The number of times the word “superman” was used as a password was 106. That’s nearly double the amount of times “batman” was used and triple the frequency of “spiderman.”
  • The number of times the word “starwars” was used was 52.
  • The number of times the sequence “ncc1701” was used as a password was 27. For those of you who aren’t Trekkies, that’s the registry number of the Constitution Class USS Enterprise and popular with BBS users in the 1980’s and 1990s. The word “startrek” was used 17 times, while “ncc1701a,” the designation for the Enterprise used in later Star Trek movies, was used 15 times.

Considerations When Choosing A Password

  1. Longer passwords or phrases are better. The passwords you decide to use should be at least 12 characters in length so that they’re difficult to break. Simply, the longer a password is, the more combinations a hacker would need to try in order to successfully crack it.
  2. Aim for complexity. Password length and complexity go hand in hand in the quest to creating secure passwords. So make sure you include lowercase and uppercase letters along with numbers and symbols. One technique I use is to think of a phrase and obstruficate it, replacing certain letters such as I for a 1, E with a 3, A with a 4, with S with a 5, T with a 7, B with an 8 or O with a 0 in the same format that people make names with car registration numbers. Next, include special characters such as ampersand (&), plus (+), question mark (?) and period (.) to separate words, ensuring that the first letter of each word is uppercase.
  3. By example:

    • Chicken And Chips becomes Ch1ck3n&Ch1ps
    • What Is For Dinner becomes Wh4t.Is.F0r.D1nn3r?
    • Two Plus Three Equals 5 becomes Tw0+Thr33=F1v3

    If you’re not creative, the other option is to use a secure password generating tool.

  4. Unpredictability is key. Unpredictability is key when it comes to password strength. Avoid predictable words to you that someone may guess, ditch passwords based on dictionary words and avoid any references to your personal life or popular TV shows, video games and movies. And if the aforementioned Yahoo! trivia was not enough to scare you, here’s a list of the top 25 common passwords over the last seven years. Are you using any of them?
  5. Unique is The Way Forward. Its importance can’t be emphasised enough, only use one password for one account.
  6. Change them often. We are all culprits here and this is the emphasis of today’s World Password Day.

Password Jokes

  • I was going to change my password to “MilkyTea”, but apparently that’s too weak.
  • I changed my password to “BeefStew” but the computer rejected it, stating it was not Stroganoff.
  • Apparently my password needs to be all capitals, so I’ve changed it to “LONDONMADRIDROMEPARIS”.
  • I needed a password that was eight characters long, so I picked “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves”.
  • Apparently Dracula sets up a new password for every website he visits, all because he can click on Your Account.
  • I just tried to change my computer password to “penis” but the system sent an error saying it was not long enough.

How Can You Manage All These Passwords?

Simple, use a Password Management Tool. And I don’t mean a paper log book from Amazon!

There are a load of digital and encrypted soluitons out there, but my favourite is Keeper Security. Having used, tried and evaluated three of the five most popular products on the market such as Dashlane, KeePass, 1Password, I still prefer Keeper.

The biggest benefit is that it is cloud based. With a web front end for online access, browser plugins cached Apps for Android and Apple devices, that means I can access my password database anywhere in the world on any device at any time. Most of these other services mandate a physical encrypted file that is shared between devices and backed up to the cloud meaning that you have multiple files to manage, but Keeper is totally cloud based with one repository.

Promoted as “The Leading Secure Password Management Solution for Businesses and Individuals”, the technology is available with business, individual ($29.99 per annum) and family subscriptions ($59.99 per annum for five people).

With Keeper’s Cloud Security Vault™, you can securely store, manage and share your digital assets too. In our digital world, storing, protecting and preserving our digital legacy is critical. From insurance forms, medical records, estate planning documents, tax documents to priceless photos and videos, Keeper allows you to secure and share them with your current family and future generations.

Managing passwords is simple and intuitive with Keeper. Keeper generates strong passwords, auto-fills passwords across your apps and sites with KeeperFill™ and organizes passwords on all platforms and devices.

I personally like the idea with the family subscription that you can share some, but not all your passwords with your family. You can also setup a legacy contact to ensure all your digital world passwords are available after your death.

What Is The History Of World Password Day?

Passwords have been around as long as people have been keeping secrets, though most people think of them as what we put into the box that follows Username and Email on all those websites. But long before that they served just as important a role, especially in espionage and secret societies. When you want to ensure that the person you were speaking to was the person sent by your organisation, you’d ask them for the password! Secret organisations like the Masons and other fraternals also often asked for passwords before letting you through the door.

Nowadays such things are of far less concern, but digital protection has become absolutely vital to our day to day existence. Sometimes it’s just protecting our identity on our favorite web forum and almost everyone has a Facebook account to protect. The problem is, where before you might need just a password or two, most people these days have dozens and dozens. Even worse, the protocol for these is often different, some requiring special characters (numbers, capital letters and symbols), while others denying their use. It makes having a universal password difficult and security experts say that doing so is a terrible idea anyway.

World Password Day came along to provide a warning to the world, and to spread awareness that taking care with your passwords is vital to protecting yourself against identity theft.