Increase Your IQ: Let’s celebrate World Password Day!

Increase Your IQ: Let’s celebrate World Password Day!

Protecting your accounts and your devices with a strong passphrase!

May 6th is World Password Day! A strong password or passphrase is the first line of defense to protect your data from hackers. When you create a strong, unique password you will keep your information much more secure.

How to avoid these common bad password practices

When you are creating a password for an online account or one of your devices, it is very tempting to cut corners. It seems easier to just use the simplest, easiest-to-remember passwords. But while these passwords are easy to remember, they are also easy for hackers to guess! Check out these tips and tricks for creating strong passwords.

  1. What not to do
    1. Don’t use something simple
    2. Simple passwords are very easy for password-cracking programs to break. An example of a password that is too simple would be “password” or “12345.”

    3. Never reuse passwords
    4. I know, I know — it’s easy to have the same password for everything. But if you use the same password for all of your accounts, one breach will compromise every account you have! And that’s way more of a pain than remembering passwords.

    5. Never use personal information or information from social media
    6. Birthdays, anniversaries, pet names or graduation years are all examples of information that is personal and readily available on your social media accounts. Remember: if it’s easy for you to guess, it’s easy for a hacker to guess.

  2. How to create a good passphrase
    1. Pick a phrase that is easy for you to remember
    2. This shouldn't be a phrase you use on social media accounts or in the public eye. For example: if you are an artist, pick something like “Painting 36.0 Rocks!”

    3. Replace the letters with numbers and symbols
    4. Remove the spaces. Then you can put symbols and numbers in place of some of the letters. In our example, this turns the phrase into “Pa1nt1ng36.0R0ck$”

    5. Include a mix of letter cases
    6. You want both lower and uppercase letters that are not in a clear pattern. Algorithms can identify patterns like camelCase or PascalCase. Now we have “Pa1nt1NG36.0R0ck$”

World Password Day history

In his 2005 book “Perfect Passwords,” security researcher Mark Burnett encouraged people to have a “password day” where they update important passwords. Inspired by this idea, Intel Security took the initiative in 2013 to declare World Password Day. Password Day is meant to create awareness of the need for good password security.

The Registrar at the National Day Calendar has designated the first Thursday of May of each year as World Password Day. In 2021, that day falls on May 6th.

How to Observe #worldpasswordday
Take the #worldpasswordday pledge and share these password tips on social media, too.

  1. Change an old password to a long, strong passphrase
  2. Turn on two-factor authentication for your important accounts
  3. Password-protect your wireless router
  4. Don’t store passwords on your computer or phone
  5. Log off when you’re done with a program
  6. Periodically remove temporary internet files

Tuesday Training… "Acceptable Use Policy”"

When you start a new job or enroll in a new school, you’ll often be asked to review and sign an Acceptable Use Policy for the network. Let’s take a quick look at the purpose and contents of an AUP.