Today is World Password Day, introduced by technology giant Intel and falling on the first Thursday of May, the day was created to raise awareness about the importance of stronger passwords. To coincide with the day we are bringing to you some reminders on how to keep you safe online and protect yourself against identify theft. 

A recent consumer survey conducted by comparison and switching service USwitch.com has revealed that one in four people write their passwords downWe all know writing passwords down really is risky business as it compromises safety and security if anyone takes it or keep a copy.

Additionally, it can also put people at risk of forgetting their passwords if they lose the piece of paper they keep them on. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) recommends the use of a password manager to store all your passwords securely, so you don’t have to worry about remembering them.

So, what information might we use to make a password easier to remember?

The investigation team at Cybernews recently published analysis of 15,212,645,925 passwords of which only 15% were unique. They discovered some interesting things about the way that people create passwords including the use of favourite sports teams, cities, foods and even curse words.

As well as these there are also the most common passwords which have not changed much at all over the years, another benefit to using one of the many password manager’s available out there is to create strong secure passwords that are a challenge for fraudsters to crack.

It might come to you as no surprise that the two security conscience professions in the USwitch.com survey are those working in HR and IT & Telecoms – resetting their passwords at least twice a month – this action and using a different one for each log in can also deter attackers.

In reality though strong passwords are just the start of keeping your accounts safe. If you’re not using it already then 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication) provides an extra layer of security to make sure that people trying to gain access to your accounts are who they say they are!

Microsoft has recently been encouraging users to implement 2FA, as they released stats in 2020 which showed that 99.9% of Microsoft accounts were that breached by cybercriminals did not have any kind of verification in place.

This step has also been echoed by internet hosting provider GitHub who will be enforcing 2FA for all code contributors by the end of 2023 in reaction to Node Package Manager takeovers resulting from compromised accounts, including one with more than 7 million weekly downloads.

Find out what other steps you can take to protect your data by downloading our Cyber Hygiene Tops Tips information sheet or if you have a specific question get in touch with us below or by talking to us via out live chat at the bottom right of this page.