Did you even know there was such a thing as World Password Day? We didn’t until this year, but we do know about these many scary statistics regarding passwords. So, in an attempt to help everyone, individuals and business owners alike, we beg you to think about the passwords you have an if they aren’t secure, change them. If you haven’t changed them in the past quarter, change them now. Think about any new passwords you create and don’t make the common mistakes so many people do.

Scary Password Facts

Statistically speaking, it only takes about 10 minutes for a hacking algorithm to hack a six-letter password in all lower-case letters. According to Good Morning America on ABC the most common all letter password is qwerty. Don’t use it. At all. And although the word “password” has two more characters, it’s no more safe from hackers as it’s the 4th most common password after 123456 and 123456789.

Did you know that because we’re all human, we follow some common patterns? Women tend to use personal names. Men prefer their hobbies. Those Facebook games that tell you to pick your (insert holiday character) name by sharing your first child or pet, favorite pet, toy or favorite band or sports team all leave you vulnerable when your password includes any of those things. And when those passwords have rules like “must have at least one capital and one number” Most people capitalize the first letter and add a 1 or 2 at the end.

What Can You Do?

If you’re seeing yourself in any of the above common password facts, it’s time to change them. Here are some tips that will help you create a more secure password that you can remember:

  • Pick three seemingly randomly words that have meaning to you. For example, a hiker might pick: trail, shoe and water.
  • Look at the words and decide if any of the letters look like a character or number.
  • Arrange the words using the most logical sequence for you.

So, our hiker’s new password becomes: sh03+rail-H2O for shoetrailwater. Simple yet relatively secure. Again, looking at statistics, a password like that would take a hacker 44 years to crack! There was once a show called Eight is Enough and many companies set eight as their minimum password length but that is no longer good enough. The preferred minimum length is now 12.

World Password Day may seem like a silly holiday but it’s one that should cause you to pause and think about your passwords. If you’re a business owner and want to take measures to secure your computers and data, call Toucan Technology Group. We can put in place password rules so staff has to create secure passwords that’s checked by software and we can mandate that they’re changed every 90 days. Of course, we offer many other tools to help your business stay safe from cyber criminals so call us if you’re looking for an IT professional to help without having to pay one full time to sit in the office. We’re locally based in Indianapolis so call (317) 376-4874 or fill out our contact form.

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