Password security has become more important than ever before in today’s digital age. With the increasing number of online accounts, cybersecurity threats, and data breaches, a strong password has become the first line of defence in protecting our personal and sensitive information. This article highlights the need for a strong password, the current scenario of password security, common mistakes and habits, and the consequences of a password breach, both globally and in India.
Why Do You Need a Strong Password?
A strong password is essential to secure your online accounts and protect your personal information from hackers and cybercriminals. A strong password is a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. It should be at least 12 characters long, and it should not be a dictionary word or easily guessable phrase.
Cybercriminals are using sophisticated techniques like brute force attacks, dictionary attacks, and social engineering to steal passwords. They use these passwords to gain access to sensitive data, financial accounts, and other sensitive information.
Current Scenario of Password Security
Despite the increasing importance of password security, people still make common mistakes and habits that make their passwords vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The most common password used globally is still “123456,” and “password,” according to a report by NordPass. In India, “123456” and “password” were also among the most used passwords, according to a report by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky.
Another common mistake is using the same password for multiple accounts. A survey conducted by cybersecurity firm Sophos found that 41% of Indians reuse the same password across multiple accounts, which increases the risk of a security breach.
In addition, many people do not change their passwords regularly. A survey conducted by cybersecurity firm McAfee found that only 23% of Indians change their passwords regularly, with 31% admitting to never changing their passwords.
Consequences of a Password Breach
A password breach can have severe consequences, both for individuals and organizations. Cybercriminals can use stolen passwords to gain access to sensitive data, financial accounts, and other personal information. They can also use this information to commit identity theft and other cybercrimes.
Password breaches have become more common in recent years. In 2020, weak, stolen, or compromised passwords were responsible for 61% of all data breaches, according to the 2021 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report. Password breaches can have a significant financial impact on organizations, with the average cost of a data breach increasing to $4.24 million in 2021, according to a report by IBM.
How to Create a Strong Password
Creating a strong password is essential to protect your personal information and prevent a cyber-attack. Here are some tips on how to create a strong password:
- Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Use a passphrase instead of a single word. A passphrase is a combination of words that are easy to remember but hard to guess.
- Avoid using personal information like your name, date of birth, or address in your password.
- Use a password manager to generate and store strong, unique passwords for each account.
- Change your password regularly, at least once every three months.
And 226 years, in case the 12-character password includes numbers, upper- and lower-case letters along with a symbol!
Password security is crucial in today’s digital age. Creating a strong password is the first line of defence in protecting your personal information from hackers and cybercriminals. By following best practices like creating a strong password, changing it regularly, and using a password manager, you can keep your online accounts secure and prevent a cyber-attack. Remember, a strong password is the first step towards a secure digital life.