World Password Month, a celebration of strong passwords

Wold password day

April 26th, 2023

World Password Month, Week 4: unique passwords are the key to information security

What if we all just had the same password? For all of our accounts? Well, then we could just stop using passwords altogether. While we’re at it, let’s unlock our doors, throw away the combination locks we use on our bikes, and leave our car keys in the ignition…

Awareways will celebrate World Password Day (May 4th) this year by publishing a weekly nugget of numerical wisdom related to passwords and organizational culture. Welcome to password month.

The Question

Passwords are very valuable and by their very definition should be unique if they are to be effective. They offer access to your e-mail, your digital workplace and all your accounts online. Which is why it is crucial to come up with strong, unique passwords. 

In data breaches, login credentials including username and password are made public. Therefore, should you use that same password for multiple applications or accounts and it ends up with the wrong person, they can get into different accounts of yours.

We’ve asked 64.000 people whether they used the same password at work and at home. Around 80% or 4 out of 5 indicated they almost never do. However, over 12% or about 1 out of every 8 respondents said that they do. Which means they either work in an organization that doesn’t have proper policy installed to avoid password re-use, are unaware of that policy if it does exist, or simply choose to ignore it.

What’s the logic behind these numbers?

infographic | same password at home as at work.

World password day

The Answer

Re-using passwords is an extremely risky practice. It allows malicious actors to use existing stolen password databases in order to hack an organization. Most, if not all organizations have (or should have) a policy starting to avoid password re-use. 

Whatever the reason, a policy requires leadership to make people aware, and provide them with the tools to adhere to the policy. Often this requires a cultural change rather than just a top-down implementation. Which is why communication is such an important tool. Take the time to introduce a new measure, create an overall plan and involve the appropriate department(s) such as marketing, communications and HR. 

These departments have the right skills to properly convey the message and importance of the policy. Therefore, take advantage of them. Unique passwords are the key.

More insights next week, when we arrive at May 4th: World Password Day

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