Understanding Strong Passwords

Everyone understands the importance of setting strong passwords, since they are essentially the gateway to computer systems and sensitive data. But in reality, managing passwords is hard. The average individual needs to remember passwords for dozens, if not hundreds, of personal and job-related online services. This leads to cutting corners when setting strong passwords — and that’s dangerous.

According to a Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report in 2018 report, more than 70% of employees use the same password for multiple services, and an astounding 81% of hacking-related breaches occur due to either stolen and/or weak passwords. Weak passwords are susceptible to brute force attacks where hackers use computers to try every possible password until the correct password is identified. Even with the computers trying thousands of passwords per second, for this technique to work, the password needs to be easy to identify, which is why a strong password matters.

Cybersecurity experts recommend strong, unique passwords, especially since websites and online accounts are increasingly being compromised, and lists of usernames, email addresses and passwords are regularly posted online. This exposes people’s passwords along with these unique identifiers, making it possible for a hacker to look for other accounts associated with that person, such as those for work, social media or financial institutions. If a password is reused, the bad actor can use it to log into those accounts and gain access. This is why unique passwords matter.

So, what’s the solution? This scenario-driven course on setting strong passwords is a good place to start. It covers the following information:

  • How to distinguish between strong and weak passwords
  • How to create a strong and memorable password using a passphrase
  • How to secure your accounts using strategies such as unique passwords and changing passwords often

Duration: 7 minutes

  • Building Block

  • Security Awareness

  • Best Practice Module