World Password Day is here

Nancy Nunziati 3 May 2018

Start your own tradition of smart security with these 10 basic tips.

Even though it reminds us annually, World Password Day still has not convinced the majority of online users to get with the times and strengthen their passwords. Now I’m not casting stones here — I’ve always been one of millions myself, saying I’d get around to upgrading my security … some day. But in 2017, a breach compromised 1.4 million usernames, emails, and passwords, making them viewable on the dark web. While that collection did contain duplicates, it still represented a staggering amount of online accounts. Was yours one of them?

So this is the year I’m doing it. I’m reinforcing my defenses by strengthening my passwords, and I’m strengthening my passwords by using a password manager. I made the promise to myself that it would all start on May 3, 2018, on World Password Day. Fitting, isn’t it?

I invite all of you to join me. Cybertheft and identity theft have evolved to levels more sophisticated and more destructive than they’ve ever been. Wake up to the current state of cybercrime and defend your digital life with the new level of security required these days, across all your accounts.

Get started with these 10 basic security tips:

  1. Give each account you have its own unique password — do not reuse any.
  2. Make every password complex and strong.
  3. Use a password manager to keep you sane. It remembers all your complex, strong passwords so you don’t have to. Avast Password Manager is a terrific, free option, and offers additional helpful features in the premium version.
  4. If you hear there’s been a breach, be extra safe and take action right away to change your passwords.
  5. Use 2-factor authentication when it’s offered. That way, if your password is compromised, your account won’t necessarily be.
  6. Use a VPN, especially on public Wi-Fi.
  7. Never text or email anyone your password.
  8. When selecting security questions while creating an account, choose hard-to-guess options to which only you know the answer.
  9. When you’re done, take the time to tell your family and friends to protect themselves too.
  10. Make sure you're running the latest version of your antivirus, or, if you don't have one, get our antivirus for free. If a threat somehow gets past your strong defenses and into your system, a good antivirus will detect and neutralize it.

Happy World Password Day. I hope you follow my example and take measures to protect your own data. The tools to increase your security are out there and not difficult to set up. Cybercrime is growing, and whether you have a lot of money or a little money, the bad guys want to crack into your accounts because it’s all about identity and data. The fate of whether or not your digital world is protected rests in your action or inaction. Which will it be?