Imagine a world where there wasn’t a singular dishonest being. Passwords would simply vanish from our everyday lives, as we would not be paranoid of a breach or other forms of cybercriminal activity. The harsh reality is this will never become reality. Even worse, the cybercriminals don’t just skim for lack of passwords. Instead, the dishonest criminal goes even further; they take advantage of common or recurring passwords. So how do you know if your password practices are leaving you vulnerable? Google is here to help.
We’ve All Been There!
If a program mandates you to change your password, what do you do? You change it of course, but how much do you actually differ your previous password from your new one? If you’re like the majority of all computer users, chances are you change a single number. Remembering passwords is difficult, which understandably results in 66% of surveyed Americans admitting to using and repeating weak passwords such as “abc123” or “QWERTY”.
So how can we combat our forgetfulness? Certainly not writing our passwords down and leaving them in your desk. Tooling has been developed to aid users in not only remembering passwords but making them better. Password managers, like the one from Google, are built into Google accounts as well as the Chrome browser. Not only does this eliminate the need for repetitive, unsophisticated passwords, it also makes them easier to enter.
Unfortunately, the team at Google has noticed that despite the convenience offered with these applications, it simply was not motivating users to use more complex passwords. As a result, Password Checkup was developed.
What Does Password Checkup Do?
Password Checkup examines the passwords that it has saved in your Google Account, and confidentially analyzes them. The examination process identifies bad password practices, such as:
- Security Breach Involvement – Your passwords are cross examined with known third-party breaches.
- Password Reuse – Nobody is perfect, we’ve all done it. However, there is no longer an excuse to reuse the same password over and over again, across multiple accounts. Tools are available to prevent headaches previously associated with complex, intricate passwords.
- Insufficient password strength – Password Checkup easily identifies the all too common trait of passwords — lack of complexity. Cybercriminals’ tooling is evolving in a way that these weak passwords are no longer able to secure your account. This is why some programs mandate special characters, or capitalization. Some even rate your password strength as you enter it and mandate a minimum level of strength.
Google now has the ability to inform users of their horrendous password practices they continue to practice every day.
This extension has been available in the Chrome Web Store as of February 2019. Due to the importance of users locking down their personal security, this extension has been directly integrated into Chrome and Google accounts.
It can be used by going to https://passwords.google.com while logged into your Google account!
Now Is the Time – Improve Your Passwords!
You no longer have an excuse, it’s time to step up your security. Consider using the following tips to increase your password strength and remember not to use the same password everywhere.
Step #1: Consider Using Passphrases!
Passphrases are a simple yet effective way to step-up your password strength. Not only is using a passphrase more effective, it is also easier for a user to remember. This is due to the personalization associated with a passphrase. Rather than trying to remember randomized letters or numbers, or sacrificing security for memorability, use a passphrase!
Let’s say for example you like Shakespeare and love the phrase “To be or not to be”. This phrase would be a great foundation for a password.
Step #2: Switch Out Some Characters!
Alright Romeo, it’s time to further enhance your security. This simple complexity trick is easy to remember as a result of the similarity you can incorporate with the characters you choose. For example, let’s modify our previous passphrase into something a bit more secure.
Step #3: Add Some Additional Details!
That password comes up a little short, so adding further details will inherently improve your password’s security. Add more memorable text to your password to ensure your password is at the maximum-security level.
Remember, don’t use this for multiple applications. That is poor password practice. Instead, if you are a Shakespeare enthusiast, use a quote from a different play and turn it into a complex, secure passphrase!
This might seem like it might be frustrating to re-enter constantly but remember… password management tools are here to help. So are we! DS Tech can help you procure password management tools to eliminate bad password practices in the workplace. Call (906) 786-0057 today to learn more!