World Password Day 2024: Best Practices for Secure Accounts

Strong password habits are important year-round. World Password Day gives us an opportunity to brush up on our skills.

ITPro Today

May 2, 2024

4 Min Read
world password day banner over a cartoon graphic of the earth and a padlock and password icon

May 2nd brings with it a variety of holidays, such as National Brothers and Sisters Day, Harry Potter Day, International Scurvy Awareness Day, and World Tuna Day. However, for IT and cybersecurity professionals, as well as advocates of secure accounts everywhere, today carries an added layer of significance: World Password Day.

Inaugurated by Intel in 2013 and observed on the first Thursday of May, World Password Day aims to promote awareness about the importance of password security. With the surge in cyber threats, strong password habits are a fundamental piece of protecting one’s digital life.

At ITPro Today, we’re commemorating World Password Day by assembling a collection of top-notch tips on password security, along with highlighting some of our best stories on the subject.

Password Security Best Practices

Here are six essential tips for ensuring password security:

  • Create Strong Passwords: First and foremost, avoid using simple passwords. That means no tributes to your favorite pet or sports team. In fact, steer clear of using any personal information that can be easily guessed. The National Institute of Standards and Technology recommends passwords be at least eight characters in length and refrain from using sequential numbers (“1234”) or repeated characters (“aaaa”).

  • Regularly Update Passwords: Just as it’s harder to hit a moving target, frequently changing your passwords makes your accounts that much more difficult to break into. This practice can also neutralize the dangers that come from having your password exposed in a data breach. 

  • Use Unique Passwords for Each Account: Using the same password across multiple accounts increases the risk of a security breach. Opt for a unique password for each account (e.g., your work email, your streaming services, your bank accounts).

  • Secure Password Storage: Remembering unique passwords can be difficult, but it can be dangerous to store them someplace insecure (e.g., a document named “Passwords.doc” on your desktop). Instead, use a reliable password manager that encrypts passwords locally. Examples of password managers include LastPass, Dashlane, NordPass, Keeper, and RoboForm.

  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication: While no method guarantees 100% password safety, requiring multiple forms of authentication greatly reduces the risk of unauthorized access.

  • Stay Vigilant Against Phishing and Social Engineering: Cybercriminals know one of the easiest ways to steal passwords is through phishing emails and social engineering efforts. Learn to recognize these types of threats and never divulge your password unless you are absolutely certain it is safe to do so. 

Top Stories About Password Security

Take a moment to review these recent articles focusing on password security.

Authentication trends

Despite Hype, the Password-Free Workplace Is Still a Long Way Off

With the immense volume of data stored in both cloud and enterprise systems, relying on passwords as the primary defense against threat actors is no longer sufficient. However, despite this urgency, many organizations have been slow to adopt passwordless authentication. This Dark Reading article explores the obstacles hindering the transition to a passwordless future.

Getting Started With Passkeys, One Service at a Time

Passkeys have been gaining momentum, supported by major tech firms like Apple, Google, and Microsoft, as well as third-party providers. While passkeys offer a more secure and convenient alternative to passwords, concerns persist regarding account recovery and the risk of device loss. Robert Lemos of Dark Reading explains how to get started with passkey technology.

Using PowerShell for password help

PowerShell expert Brien Posey explores several methods that can help with password security:

More resources

Advanced Linux User Management: A Guide for IT Pros

This guide provides detailed coverage of password security within Linux user management. Articles examine authentication methods, password policies, and related topics.

Cybersecurity Basics: A Quick Reference Guide

This downloadable reference guide is designed to help IT pros understand essential cybersecurity concepts and terminology. It features concise explainers of best practices, such as implementing strong password policies.

Cybersecurity Quiz 2024: Test Your IT Security Knowledge

How familiar are you with the critical concepts and principles of cybersecurity? This quiz contains 20 multiple-choice questions aimed at evaluating your understanding of key terms and best practices in the field.

Read more about:

Risk Management
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