Change Your Password Day professes a cybersecurity message

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On February 1, 2024, the globe commemorated International Change Your Password Day, an occasion unfamiliar to many tech enthusiasts regarding its origin. This annual observance was initially established to promote online safety while accessing web services, emphasizing the critical role passwords play in safeguarding personal data from cyber threats.

Major online platforms such as Google and Facebook have adopted a unified password policy, requiring users to use the same password across all affiliated services. While this approach enhances convenience, the potential risk arises if this password falls into the wrong hands, exposing individuals to significant privacy breaches.

Security experts advocate for the adoption of robust passwords, suggesting a minimum length of 14 characters. The complexity is heightened by incorporating a mix of alphanumeric characters and a couple of special characters, fortifying defenses against brute force attacks executed by malicious software.

It is imperative to treat passwords as confidential, refraining from sharing them. Regularly changing passwords, preferably on a quarterly basis, acts as an additional layer of defense, especially in the event of a potential leakage at the service provider’s end.

Commonly used and easily guessable passwords, such as numerical sequences (e.g., 123456789), basic words (e.g., password), and personal details (e.g., birthdates, names of family members or celebrities), are discouraged. Hackers, armed with AI software, can exploit these predictable choices.

To enhance security, experts recommend using distinct passwords for various online services. This practice minimizes the risk of multiple accounts being compromised in case a particular service provider’s password storage server is breached. Augmenting password protection with two-factor authentication (2-FA) or multifactor authentication provides an extra layer of security for user accounts, further fortifying defenses against potential threats.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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