World Password Day

Don't be an easy target
5 May 2021 by
World Password Day
Binary City CC - Dept - Marketing, Rollands Puckree

Don't be an easy target

The importance of passwords in 2021
With the increased adoption of new technology like laptops, smartphones, tablets and computers, there has been a surge in the way we interact, stream and share information online.  More of us are working remotely online, meaning the likelihood of us being more connected, means a bigger target for online security threats. These devices connect with each other, access the internet and store information online, including financial transactions, passwords and additional personal information.  The only way to protect this valuable data from unauthorised use is by adding a password

Long and complex password the I.T guy gone crazy?                 With so many passwords required in our daily lives, users become frustrated about how many they need or fear they will forget them if they make them too complicated to remember.  Usually, a person will create a password based on something that is unique and memorable to them, like a favourite place, person or phrase they like to live by.  One excellent alternative to continuing using more personal passwords is to replace a specific letter in the sentence with a number or symbol.  For example, the word “Password” contains ‘a’, and ‘o’ – these could be replaced with ‘8’ and ‘0’. Plus, you could add a # instead of a ‘w.’ By using this method, “Password” becomes “P8ss#0rd”. Note: Please NEVER use the word “password” as a password, or attempt to amend it.

What security measures can one take?                                                                                   Whilst passwords and PINs are vital for continued security when connecting devices online and using websites, there are other checks you can do :

  • Don't share passwords - never share your passwords and PIN codes with anyone, even your spouse.

  • Use SSL certified websites - When browsing, only enter personal and financial details on websites that are encrypted with SSL certificates. You will know when SSL Certificates have been installed on a site or browser by noticing ‘https’ (the ‘s’ stands for secure) and a padlock in the browser. Typically, SSL is used to protect login details, credit card transaction data and offer secure browsing on social media sites. 

  • Keep your system up to date - Ensuring your computer security software is updated and not expired if you have a free trial version.

  • Two step verification - It is quite common these days especially with systems that access information such as banking information. Two step verification means you got a password and something else to verify an action you are trying to accomplish. For example, you enter your password and then receive an SMS with a special verification code to use. It is a must for any system! Binary City recommends code generating applications such as 'Authy' or 'Google Authenticator'.

  • Password Managers - Some browsers have built in password managers. If you use Apple iOS, you can use 'KeyChain' which is a very good application. Alternatively, we recommend using '1Password' which provides a secure place for users to store various passwords, software licenses and other sensitive information in a virtual vault with a PBKDF2-guarded master password.

Preventing hackers and unauthorised access to your computer and mobile devices requires strong, long and secure passwords, and PINs.  As more of our lives are kept online, new opportunities for hackers and other cyber-criminals are increasing to obtain user data.  By avoiding the creation of careless and insecure passwords, users can add an extra layer of protection to their online presence.  For this reason, people should protect themselves better by forming long and complex passwords.

Watch the video - Radio interview with Binary City's co-founder, Mr Rayno Burger, on HitRadio Namibia.
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