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Happy World Password Day

Author: Jessica Newby - Governance, Risk, and Compliance Lead 

Guess what today is? It’s World Password Day! World Password Day was created to raise awareness about the importance of having strong passwords and taking necessary steps to safeguard our digital lives. In today's world, where our personal and financial information is stored online, a strong password is crucial to protect ourselves from cyberattacks. Let's take a closer look at why passwords are important and how we can make them stronger. 

Why are passwords important? 

Passwords are important because they serve as a barrier to protect our personal information and assets. Without passwords, anyone could access our private information, such as bank account details or social media accounts, and potentially cause significant harm. Passwords provide an added layer of security, making it more difficult for unauthorized individuals to access our data.

What are the risks of weak passwords? 

Weak passwords can put our personal information and assets at risk. A weak password can be easily guessed or cracked by attackers, allowing them to gain access to our accounts. This can lead to identity theft, financial loss, and other serious consequences. In addition, if we reuse passwords across multiple accounts, we increase our risk of being compromised across the board if one of our passwords is breached.

Tips for Creating Strong Passwords 

Creating a strong password can be challenging, especially when you need to remember multiple passwords for different accounts. Here are some tips for creating strong passwords that are also easy to remember: 

  1. Use a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. This makes it more difficult for attackers to guess or crack our passwords. Avoid using common words or phrases that can be easily guessed. 

  1. Use a passphrase instead of a password. A passphrase is a long sequence of words that is easier to remember but harder to guess. An example of this would be: M@yTh3F0urthB3W!thY0u 

  1. Consider using a password manager. A password manager can generate and store strong, unique passwords for each account, making it easier for us to manage and remember our passwords. 

  1. Use different passwords for each account to prevent hackers from accessing multiple accounts if one password is compromised. 

  1. Change your passwords regularly: Even if you have a strong password, it's important to change it periodically, especially if you suspect a breach.

Password Security Best Practices

In addition to creating strong passwords, there are other best practices you can follow to protect your digital identity: 

  1. Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA): MFA is an additional layer of security that requires a user to provide two forms of identification to access an account. This can include a password and a verification code sent to a mobile device or email. 

  1. Never share your password with anyone, including family members, friends, or colleagues. 

  1. Be cautious when clicking links or downloading attachments in emails, especially from unknown senders! The same goes for QR codes. Scanning a QR code is the same as clicking a link.  

  1. Keep your software and operating system up to date to ensure security vulnerabilities are patched. 

  1. Monitor your accounts regularly for suspicious activity and report unauthorized access immediately. 

World Password Day is an important reminder that we need to take password security seriously. With the increasing amount of personal information, we store online, it’s more important than ever to create strong, unique passwords for each of our accounts. By following these tips and best practices, we can reduce our risk of being compromised and enjoy a safer, more secure online experience. 

Visit defend.nd.gov for more tips and information to protect yourself.

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