Observed yearly on the first Thursday of May, World Password Day promotes better password habits. As the world becomes increasingly digital, secure passwords are critical for our data-driven online lives and serve as the gatekeepers to our digital identities. Yet, many South Africans don’t take this as seriously as they should.
“Controlling who has access to restricted data, systems or areas is one of the most fundamental elements of security. Weak passwords, password reuse, and lack of MFA application are still some of the most serious concerns for cyber security,” says cyber security expert and GoldPhish CEO, Dan Thornton.
Thornton and his team are on a mission to heighten cyber security awareness across Africa. He shares five simple password behaviour changes people should consider for maximum digital protection below.
How to create better password habits
1. 3 Random words:
Forget super complex passwords that make no sense, remember length trumps complexity. Instead use “passphrases” with three random words that you can actually remember. If you need to get a bit more advanced, sneak in the odd number and special characters.
2. Change your passwords:
Immediately change your passwords on any site that has had a data breach or if you are at all suspicious
3. Enable multi-factor authentication:
Use multi-factor authentication on all your accounts, including email, social media, shopping, and financial services, for extra protection. When you sign in from an unfamiliar device, you will be asked to confirm your identity via text message, email, or code.
4. Don’t reuse passwords:
Protect all your online account credentials by using strong passwords and never reuse them across numerous platforms. The more unique the better.
5. Get a password manager
Password managers (or a web browser) can generate and store all your passwords securely, so you don’t have to worry about remembering them. This allows you to use unique, strong passwords for all your important accounts.