World Password Day takes place on Thursday May 5. It was set up in 2013 as a day set aside for people to update and strengthen their passwords.
The average person has over 100 different passwords for various apps, websites, and online services. In practice most of us re-use the same handful of passwords, and ignore prompts to “update your password” until we are forced to do something. Unfortunately, there are an increasing number of people who will take advantage of this.
What is the risk?
Password protection is one of the most important things you can do to safeguard your personal, professional, and sensitive data. Without a strong password, you risk:
- Giving hackers easy access to your most sensitive accounts
- Breaches to multiple accounts that share the same or similar passwords
- Attacks by keystroke loggers who steal common login credentials
- Loss of data through shared (and easily stolen) passwords
How do I make my passwords stronger?
Strong and secure passwords are crucial, especially now that most of our work is done online. Even if you have strong passwords, they need changing regularly as they may have been exposed in a data breach. The strongest passwords are:
- At least 12 characters long
- A mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special symbols
- Not based on your username or other personal information
- Unique to each account
Our Password page has some more guidance for creating a stronger password.
Further information and reading
As well as the Password page, DTS have several pages dedicated to Cyber Security, https://www.reading.ac.uk/digital-technology-services/cyber-security
For more general information about keeping yourself safe online, have a look at the National Cyber Security Centre website.