World Password Day 2024: everything you need to know about password protection

Did you know that 23 million people in the UK use the password ‘123456’? Passwords are an often-overlooked cyber security practise, with a third of the UK population using the most insecure password. This World Password Day serves as a crucial reminder of the critical role passwords play in safeguarding our online identities and assets.

We recognise the importance of robust password protection in securing the cyber defences of the UK public sector. Today we highlight the significance of passwords, essential cyber security practices, and key considerations to ensure your digital security remains resilient against threats.

Passwords are the backbone of cyber security

Passwords serve as the first line of defence against unauthorised access to our digital accounts and sensitive information. They act as virtual keys, granting or denying entry to our online identities, financial data, and both professional and personal communications. However, the strength of this defence hinges upon the quality of our passwords.

Best practices for password protection

  • Complexity: create passwords that are complex and difficult to guess. Incorporate a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters to enhance security
  • Longevity: opt for lengthy passwords that exceed the minimum character requirements. The longer the password, the harder it is for cyber criminals to crack
  • Unique credentials: avoid recycling passwords across multiple accounts. Each account should have its unique password to prevent a domino effect in case of a security breach
  • Phishing vigilance: exercise caution against phishing attempts aimed at tricking you into revealing your passwords. Be wary of unsolicited emails, messages, or links requesting password information
  • Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): implement an additional layer of security through 2FA wherever possible. This extra step adds a formidable barrier against unauthorised access, requiring both a password and a secondary authentication method
  • Regular updates: routinely update your passwords to mitigate the risk of compromise. Aim for password changes at least every three to six months, or immediately following any security incidents
  • Secure storage: refrain from storing passwords in plaintext or easily accessible locations. Consider leveraging reputable password managers to securely store and manage your credentials
  • Beware of public Wi-Fi: exercise caution when accessing sensitive accounts or inputting passwords on public Wi-Fi networks. Bad actors can exploit unsecured connections to intercept data transmissions, including login credentials
  • Education: educate yourself and your teams on cyber security best practices. Foster a culture of awareness and proactive defence against evolving cyber threats

Find a helping hand in password managers

So many elements of our lives include passwords – work, leisure, shopping… With people having an average of 100 different passwords, it can seem impossible to keep track of them all while remaining secure. In fact, 54% of people continue to use memory for password management, underscoring a reliance on outdated and potentially insecure practices.

That’s where password managers come in. Let’s explore the benefits:

1. It remembers everything

To be fully secure, it’s important to use a different password for each account you have. Not only is it impossible to remember the different passwords, it’s also difficult to remember which password belongs to each account. By using a password manager to store all of your account details into a secure server, you can focus on the more important things while ensuring you’re as secure as possible.

2. Extra layer of protection

Following password protection best practise is one step to protecting your accounts, but one of the best features of password managers are the ability to notify you if any of your accounts have been breached. It will help you create a new password, save it, and ensure that no password gets reused.

3. Provides all-around protection

By ensuring password protection at all times by using password managers, taking best practise into account, and being careful online, you will not only protect yourself, but also your family, friends, and workplace. Repeating passwords across separate personal and work accounts could put your employer at risk, so using password managers to ensure all passwords are strong, different, and unforgotten is key.

Password managers provide a safety blanket across both personal and business use, many showing where passwords have been in data breaches and therefore alert users to the need to update them.

In order to protect your online identity and prevent becoming a victim of online fraud, you should adhere to best practices, stay knowledgeable in a world where new threats constantly emerge, and embrace proactive cyber security measures. To gain knowledge on best cyber security practices, look into some free cyber security training resources.

Talk to us about password protection

If you wish to discuss password protection or any aspect of your cyber security strategy, get in touch.

Contact us

Alternatively, please email us at [email protected] or call 01904 562200 and one of our Cyber Security Specialists will be in touch to discuss your requirements.

Kelsey Smith
Kelsey Smith

Kelsey is a Content and Social Media Apprentice at Phoenix, working closely with the Marketing Team to develop her skills in web, email, and social media marketing. Kelsey is not only keen to learn about marketing, but also the challenges organisations face and how Phoenix supports them to overcome these.

See all posts by Kelsey Smith