Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2023 | Create Strong Passwords and Use A Password Manager

Weak or stolen passwords are responsible for 81% of data breaches. Would you believe that the most common passwords used in 2023 are still ‘123456789’ and ‘password’? Cybercriminals can crack a weak password, or one that can be easily guessed, within hours. More complex, ‘strong’ passwords on the other hand, can take more than a lifetime to decipher.

Microsoft defines a strong password as:

• At least 12 characters long, but 14 or more is better
• A combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols
• Not a word that can be found in a dictionary or the name of a person, character, product, or organisation
• Significantly different from your previous passwords – stolen passwords are often shared online for other cybercriminals to use
• Easy for you to remember but difficult for others to guess, e.g., a memorable phrase like “6MonkeysRLooking^”.

To keep accounts and devices safe and secure, never share usernames or passwords with anyone and avoid writing them down. Considering that the average user has 27 different work applications that need verification, a password manager can be a great help if you have many accounts and struggle to memorise multiple passwords. Many password managers automatically update stored passwords, keep them encrypted, and require multi-factor authentication for access.

Due to the risks posed by poor password hygiene, many businesses are now turning to passwordless authentication.

Read more about Thales FIDO2 Passwordless Devices