We live in an era where digitalization is the order of the day. You need a password for almost everything, from borrowing a book from the library, for your mobile devices, your laptop, opening a safe, and so many other places.
Most people have the wrong conception about passwords and many institutions restrict passwords at random for different reasons. In as much as systems have moved on in the past 20 years, some systems are still stuck in the past. Some password misconceptions include:
Passwords are very secure
When you compare passwords with other security options such as phone number, government ID or biometrics, passwords are not 100% secure. They are the most widely used authentication techniques, especially if they contain the two-step authentication process. A secure password has:
- Strength, meaning a hacker will not manage to guess or apply brute force to crack it.
- It should be uniquely different and a first time generation, never used before.
- Secure means of transmission, such as authentic HTTPS connections, done by a person who knows the dangers of phishing.
Passwords must be of a certain length
The longer your password, the stronger it becomes, but it does not have to be 35 characters long. 17 characters are enough, except in cases where it involves encryption of sensitive information such as a Bitcoin wallet, government, or private files. In this case, 23 or more characters are safe.
You have to remember all passwords
Research has shown that the average person has at least 130 different accounts and logs online at the very least, 27 times in a single day! With all these accounts, it is impossible to remember all the passwords. This is where the password manager comes in handy.
It generates and saves your passwords so that you do not need to bother keeping them in memory. Password managers also automatically fill in the passwords in sites so that you are safe from phishing. All you need to do is remember your password manager’s password, and of course your gadget’s password.
A password generator creates a special, random password for every one of your accounts. It relies mostly on its default settings for how long and complex your password is. It will mostly generate a 20- character password with a few numbers and special characters.
Passwords will become obsolete
Many have suggested the replacement of passwords, but no one has come up with a reliable technique that is safe. Biometrics such as facial recognition or fingerprints are sophisticated techniques, but with security gaps. They are perfect for recognition, but not authentication. Cryptographic keys might work, but compromising by phishing is possible. Passwords will be here for a while longer.
Constant password change is safe
Common password mistakes include the assumption that changing your password regularly keeps you secure. Some organizations insist that employees change their password, often after a certain duration. They insist on a change of password to a different length each time to differentiate the current from the previous.
Most people, when asked to change their password, they only stick to doing the least they can get away with, making minimal changes. This makes them even more susceptible to hacking as the hacker already has a place to start.
Biometrics is 100% safe
Biometrics is one of the most hassle-free ways to log in. All you need is a fingerprint and you are cleared. What many people do not know is that biometric as a single-factor authentication makes it easy to steal keys. After some time, your fingerprints or retina scans are stored as many 1’s and 0’s and if these copies of 1s and 0s end up in a hacker’s hands, he would have a field day causing trouble.
Passwords are not going anywhere any time soon. It is about time everyone learned how to create strong passwords that are hack-proof. A password manager is the best solution to remembering all your accounts passwords.
While surfing the internet, be careful as hackers are always on the prowl. Ensure you update all your mobile gadgets and computers. Be very careful when clicking on links to sites, or links sent via email. If you have several favorite sites, please bookmark them to avoid opening links every day.