They’re strange, they’re complex, they’re everywhere and we forget them far more than is absolutely healthy for us. No, we’re not talking about anniversaries (though sometimes we are! You’ll see what we mean) we’re talking about your passwords! We use them to secure the most private parts of our lives and to help protect our finances, our health records, or maybe just our emails. World Password Day reminds us of the importance of these little crypto-keys and the role they play in making sure we keep hold on our lives, identity thieves are everywhere, and these are your first digital line of defense.
History of Password Day
Passwords have been around as long as people have been keeping secrets, though most people think of them as what we put into the box that follows Username and Email on all those websites. But long before that they served just as important a role, especially in espionage and secret societies. When you want to ensure that the person you were speaking to was the person sent by your organization, why, you’d ask them for the password! Secret Organizations like the Masons and other fraternal organizations also often asked for these before letting you through the door. Without a way to keep the secrets secret, it wouldn’t be much of a secret society would it?
Nowadays such things are of far less concern, but digital protection has become absolutely vital to our day to day existence. Sometimes it’s just protecting our identity on our favorite web forum, and almost everyone has a Facebook account to protect. The problem is, where before you might need just a password or two, most people these days have dozens. Even worse, the protocol for these is often different, some requiring certain characters (numbers, Capitals, Symbols) and others denying the use. It makes having a universal password difficult, and security experts say that doing so is a terrible idea anyway.
World Password Day came along to provide a warning to the world, and to spread awareness that taking care with your passwords is vital to protecting yourself against identity theft. Business insider did research to determine just how vulnerable account were, and discovered that 10,000 of the most common passwords allow access to 98% of all accounts. Tell us that isn’t more than a little terrifying?
How to Celebrate Password Day
Well, let’s say this is less about celebrating a holiday and more about protecting your family and yourself from the dangers and possibly drastic consequences of identity theft. Go through your passwords and make them stronger, coming up with nonsense phrases you can remember, adding spaces, changing letters to numbers and the like to create something no hacker will ever be able to guess.
Avoid things like names, dates, anniversaries, pet names, all of those things that we all too often post to Facebook as part of a meme. (How many “Your superhero name” things have you done? Hmm?) These are just a few of the options. Head to passwordday.org to get good ideas, warning stories, and just generally enlighten yourself on ways to secure yourself better, and the dangers of not doing so.