Microsoft says to ditch passwords all together on World Password Day  

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World Password Day is celebrated in May every year and is being done since 2013 as a group of Cybersecurity Professionals declared the first Thursday of May every year as the day to celebrate as the security day of our online lives. Like how we celebrate International’s Mother’s day every year on the second Sunday of May every year.

Microsoft says that we need to ditch passwords forever to stay safe online as there are 921 password attacks taking place every second all over the world that have doubled from 463 in the year 2019.

American tech giant says that passwords are a big pain as they are hard to remember and cyber criminals can keep track of them easily, all thanks to the latest software that can be used in brute force attacks and in infiltrating password managers with ease.

The Windows Operating System giant has already provided alternatives to all those who are looking to ditch passwords into something easy to implement and more secure and those are:

Microsoft Authenticator- It is just an app that helps an online user to sign into their accounts respectively using 2-factor authentication. And remember, passwords can be stolen, compromised and can be easily forgotten. But Microsoft Authenticator app doesn’t offer such troubles.

Security Key or verification code- Most of you might be familiar with this practice as Goggle has already rolled out such a service to all its Gmail account holders in June 2020. In this security feature, a verification code is sent to the mobile phone of a registered user that can access an account by keying in the number or the code.

Windows Hello- Microsoft introduced Windows Hello for Business to replace password with an authentication system of a biometric or PIN. And the service can be activated on all Microsoft services, including active directory accounts, Azure active directories and relying on party services that support FIDO authentication.

Multi-factor authentication – Such a security service is useful in blocking 99.9 percent of accounts from being compromised. And when such a service is linked to Microsoft Authenticator, it can send time-based OTPs, push notifications to allow password-less sign-in.

And if you are still adamant on using a password to secure accounts for reasons best known to you, here are some tips to follow-

· Better use a 12-18 character password as it is hard to guess for hackers

· Using a combination uppercase and lowercase keys mixed with alpha-numeric characters and tucked with one or two special characters makes sense in these hackers’ driven world

· Never use a password that can be found in a dictionary, is a noun, name of a person, place or a DoB

· Change your password once or twice in a month and change immediately if you sniff something is wrong with the account and feel that it’s been compromised- like if you read or hear news about data breaches of online accounts

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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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