World Password Day: The Importance of Password Integrity
Passwords have become a common way to access and manage our digital lives. Think of all the accounts you have with different providers. Having a password allows you to securely access your information, pay bills or connect with friends and family on various platforms. However, having a password alone is not enough. Your password for each of your accounts needs to be difficult to guess and unpredictable. Your passwords also need to be managed and protected. With World Password Day around the corner, it’s important to take a moment and reflect on the importance of strengthening our digital hygiene beginning with our passwords.
When it comes generating a password, most of us rely on things that we can remember. A birth date, a pet’s name or our favorite sports team. While these options make it easier for us to recall our passwords, it also makes it far simpler for a cybercriminal to uncover them too. With all of the information we are freely sharing online through our social media platforms, a cybercriminal can easily spend a very small amount of time researching our habits, connections and other elements of our lives to guess potential passwords and gain access to our information. That’s why maintaining password integrity helps protect our online lives and reduces the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft or data loss.
What is password integrity?
Think of the foundation of a building. To prevent the building from collapsing in the future causing serious harm, it needs to be built with certain principles in mind. Password integrity involves the same concept. Passwords are the foundation of our digital lives. If they aren’t secure or properly managed, we run the risk of falling victim to cybercriminals who are eager to access our personal data.
Predicable passwords are problematic for several reasons. If your passwords follow the standard guidelines offered by most sites that require a single capital letter, at least 6 charters, numbers and one special character, hackers can easily make a series of attempts to try and gain access.
Without proper password integrity, personal information and business data may be at risk. The impacts for businesses and consumers are enormous. The average cost of a data breach in 2021 rose to over 4 million dollars, increasing 10% from 2020. For some small to medium-sized (SMBs) businesses, this means incurring a financial hit that could mean closing up shop. For consumers, dealing with identity theft can involve a world of headache. From freezing credit cards and assets to contacting all of the companies you regularly interact with, recovering from identity theft can be difficult and time consuming.
How to develop password integrity
The best way to prevent unauthorized access to your accounts is to protect and manage them. While avoiding duplication of passwords for multiple accounts and enabling two-way authentication can help, using a password manager is another way to help manage all of your account passwords seamlessly.
Included in Webroot’s SecureAnywhere Internet Security Plus antivirus solution is access to LastPass®, a reliable and secure password management tool. LastPass is the most trusted name in secure password management. It encrypts all username, password and credit card information to help keep you safe online. LastPass gives you access to a password vault to store and access all of your passwords from any device.
Securing your digital life means protecting and managing your information. Having a reliable password management tool can help you effortlessly manage all of your passwords. As World Password Day approaches, take a step back and assess your digital hygiene beginning with your passwords. As cybercriminals develop more sophisticated ways to steal our information or identity, maintaining our own password integrity becomes key.
Guest blog authored by Sabrina Lavi at Webroot, an OpenText company. Read more Webroot guest blogs here. Regularly contributed guest blogs such as this are part of ChannelE2E’s sponsorship program.