*The following statistics have been provided by our friends at the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA).
- Only 33% of surveyed individuals create unique passwords for all accounts (NCA)
- Only 18% of surveyed individuals have downloaded a password manager (NCA)
- 62% of surveyed participants reported holding a ‘manageable’ number of sensitive online accounts (1-9 accounts), with over a third (38%) holding more than 10 sensitive online accounts (NCA)
O’Mard Consulting Services, LLC is committed to cybersecurity education. That’s why once again, we will be participating in this year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Founded in 2004, Cybersecurity Awareness Month, held each October, is the world’s foremost initiative aimed at promoting cybersecurity awareness and best practices. Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a collaborative effort among businesses, government agencies, colleges and universities, associations, nonprofit organizations, tribal communities, and individuals committed to educating others on online safety.
Starting this year, the new theme of Cybersecurity Awareness Month is Secure Our World, with the main messaging revolving around four key cybersecurity best practices:
- Understanding the benefits of using a password manager and dispelling existing myths around password manager security and ease of use.
- Turning on multi-factor authentication on personal devices and business networks.
- Recognizing and reporting phishing – still one of the primary threat actions used by cyber criminals today.
- Installing updates on a regular basis and turning on automated updates.
Today’s article will focus on the benefits of using a password manager.
What’s a Password Manager?
Password managers are applications which generate complex and unique passwords for you, store them all in one place, and tell you when you have weak, re-used passwords, or compromised passwords. These applications can also automatically fill credentials into sites and apps using a secure browser plugin. Here’s the best part about using a password manager, you only need to remember one master password—the one for accessing the password manager itself as password managers take out all of the guess work in creating strong passwords and securing them.
How Do They Work?
Password managers use encryption to ensure that password managers and preying eyes never “know” what your passwords are, keeping them safe from cyber attacks. Some password managers store an encrypted database on your device while others encrypt and load your data to the cloud.
Do You Have Any Recommendations?
There are several password managers that we recommend:
Just to name a few!
How Do I Create a Strong Password?
You can strengthen your password with these tips!
- Longer is stronger: Passwords with at least 16 characters are hardest to crack.
- Hard to guess: Use a random string of mixed-case letters, numbers and symbols. If you need to
memorize a password, create a memorable “passphrase” of 5 – 7 unrelated words. Get creative with
spelling and/or add numbers or symbols
- One of a kind: Use a unique password for each account.
(Pro tip: When using a password manager, create a memorable long “passphrase” as described above and NEVER write your master password down.)
As our online lives expand, the average user has gone from having just a few passwords to now
managing upwards of 100. That’s 100 unique passwords to remember, if you’re using strong
password habits. Password managers can save users the trouble of having to remember multiple
passwords and make accounts safer by recommending strong, unique passwords and storing them
all in one place.
Have any questions regarding password best practices or password managers? Contact us and we will be delighted to assist you with your security needs! Make sure to subscribe to our mailing list to stay up-to-date with our latest security tips and tricks.