Today is World Password Day

Today is World Password Day, which has been celebrated on the first Thursday in May since 2013. Password Day is being marked for the ninth time at the initiative of Intel, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of strong passwords.

Every year, the lists of the most popular passwords, which are usually published at the end of the year, remind us why the concept by which people choose passwords themselves is wrong. Fortunately, things are getting better, but the need for World Password Day remains.

People often say they have nothing that cyber criminals want. Yet, deep down, they know this is not true. Users have passwords for everything – from email accounts, through passwords to video streaming platforms, school accounts, etc. Passwords usually store personal information or metadata about people. If what many think is true, if they did not have anything that could interest cyber criminals, the need for passwords would not even exist.

Despite all this, people still treat passwords as something that requires too much time and effort. This is a burden to many, so they often use the same passwords for multiple services or choose simple passwords that are easy to remember.

A recent survey found that 66% of people do not consider changing their password after learning of a major data compromise, and more than half have not changed their passwords in the past year.

Despite technological advances and the fact that more and more online services require more complex passwords, the most commonly used password in the world remains “123456”. A recent study showed that out of a billion passwords reviewed, about seven million were “123456”.

The same old passwords now protect more data. As time goes on, online services collect more and more information about users, not to mention metadata. This means that all these insecure passwords actually protect more and more personal data.

Whether Internet services force them to choose better passwords or because of increased awareness, the situation with passwords is improving. More and more people are now choosing complex and unique passwords. Password managers have contributed the most to this trend. This type of software works as a vault for all user passwords, so people don’t have to remember them.

In addition, the application rate for multifactor authentication (MFA) is now higher than 50%. Multiple protection is always better, and MFA has quickly become necessary.

Finally, all popular web browsers now offer strong and unique passwords when creating new accounts or check whether passwords are currently being used among leaked data available on the Internet. There are also services that allow people to check if their passwords are among the leaked passwords, and users also seem to be more aware of the importance of choosing a smart password.

It seems that constantly reminding users of the importance of choosing a good password has paid off, and World Password Day serves that purpose. It is a long process that will continue and this is not the last day of the password that we mark. And it’s part of the same “hassle” process that helps companies and security professionals make people aware of the importance of their data and their responsibilities when it comes to protecting that data.

We invite you to join the celebration of Password Day: replace old passwords with strong, long, unique passwords. Turn on two-factor authentication for all your important accounts. Lastly, invite your friends to do the same.

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