Password Day: Need to Secure AccountsDespite extensively using the internet on multiple devices, having dozens of accounts and accessing scores of apps, I was unaware that a World Password Day was celebrated each year on the first Thursday in May. This year it fell on May 5. I came to know about it when my web host sent me a mail on that day asking me to make my passwords stronger to further secure my accounts. This led me to play sleuth on Google and I discovered that there is a website by the name www.passwordday.org. There are several other related sites that provide excellent information and create awareness about the need for netizens to secure their information on the internet.
By Sunil Garodia
With more services and processes going online and with India making rapid strides towards being a cashless society, the problem of remembering multiple passwords is going to become worse in the near future. But with data thieves, hackers and virtual criminals making a beeline for fleecing unsuspecting netizens, the need for having stronger passwords and other layers of added security can no longer be ignored.
The first basic requirement to secure any online account is to have a very strong password, one that is at least 8 characters in length and includes letters, numbers and special characters. This password needs to be memorized and not stored on any of your devices or written down anywhere. The next requirement is to change this password frequently, maybe every month if you are a heavy user or every three months if you use accounts sparingly. The next line of defence is to have a second factor authentication. This can take the form of an OTP received on your mobile device, a finger print authentication or a hint question you need to answer. In credit card payments, this usually means you have to provide a second password, like in Verified by Visa. While all this can be highly confusing, there is definitely a pressing need to adhere to it to protect your accounts. Some browsers and apps also provide the facility to store all your passwords and then they can be accessed by using just one password for that app. This can be used by people who find memorizing â and then frequently changing and memorizing again â difficult.
It will be very useful to all those who use the net extensively to go though several websites that guide you in this regard. A start can be made from passwordday.org.