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  • Donald E. Hester

Haunted by Weak Passwords?

Unlocking the Secrets of Strong Passwords: A Spook-Free Guide for Cybersecurity Awareness Month.


Halloween season is upon us, and while we're all immersed in tales of witches and werewolves, let's not forget the spooky creatures that haunt our digital world—weak passwords. It's no secret that passwords can be a real pain, especially when you're juggling around 100 of them. But the scare factor doesn't end there. Here are some spine-tingling password facts to get you in the cybersecurity spirit:

  1. Weak PASSWORDS are the most common way online criminals access accounts.

  2. In 2022, over 24 billion passwords were leaked (source: Digital Shadows).

  3. Internet users who don't use password managers are three times more likely to be affected by identity theft (source: Security.org).

  4. The most common password is "123456" (source: Reader's Digest).

  5. 96% of the most common passwords can be cracked by hacking tools in less than one second (source: Digital Shadows).

  6. 13% of people use the same password for all their accounts (source: Google).

Now that we've given you some chills, it's time to take action. Managing your passwords is crucial if you can't use Multifactor Authentication (MFA). The longer and more complex your password, the harder it is for cybercriminals to guess.


Strengthen Passwords with Three Simple Tips:

Using strong passwords with the help of a password manager is one of the easiest ways to protect your accounts and keep your information safe. Here's how:

1. Make Them Long:

  • Aim for at least 16 characters—longer is even better!

  • The longer your password, the harder it becomes for hackers to crack. Each additional character adds an extra layer of security.

2. Make Them Random:

  • Create random strings of letters (uppercase and lowercase), numbers, and symbols for the strongest passwords.

  • Alternatively, fashion a memorable passphrase using 5-7 unrelated words. Creative spelling can make it more complex and harder to guess.

3. Make Them Unique:

  • Never reuse passwords across multiple accounts.

  • Use a password manager to remember and generate unique passwords for each account.

Password Managers: Let Them Do the Work!

Password managers are your cybersecurity sidekicks. They create, store, and fill passwords automatically, relieving you of the burden of remembering dozens of complex codes. You only need to remember one strong password—the one for your password manager itself. Look for trusted sources like Consumer Reports for recommendations on reliable password managers.


When you choose strong passwords and employ a password manager, you make it significantly harder for someone to steal your data, money, and identities.


Using Strong Passwords is a Way to Secure Our World:

This Cybersecurity Awareness Month, let's tackle the specter of weak passwords head-on. Share these essential tips with your family and friends to help them stay safer online. Just as we wouldn't eat expired candy, let's not use outdated software or feeble passwords. Remember, a secure digital world is a treat worth having!


For more resources on securing our interconnected world, visit CISA's Secure Our World. And if you're looking for more password advice or top-rated password managers, check out this Consumer Reports article or ZDNet's list of best password managers.


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