A majority of Internet users rarely change their passwords and use the same one for years. While this is an easy way to manage and remember passwords, it is also an easy way for cyber criminals to obtain them. According to Intel, 90% of passwords are vulnerable, and it only takes five minutes for a hacker to crack them.
As a result, Intel, along with supporters like Microsoft, Toshiba, Samsung and others, have dubbed today, May 7, World Password Day. It is meant to be a public service to remind the millions of Internet users to protect their online identity and change their passwords.
“You should change your important passwords as often as you change the oil in your car,” said Intel. “Upgrading your password takes five minutes and can save you hours of trouble down the line.”
(Related: Don’t use these common passwords)
This year Intel has launched Passwordday.org, a website dedicated to password education.
On the website, users can test whether or not a website is still affected by the Heartbleed bug with McAfee’s Heartbleed Test tool. They can also check the strength of their password, and look at the do’s and don’ts of creating a password.
Also available on the site is an online “Password Blaster” game that allows users to destroy leaked passwords.
“If you see one of your passwords, it’s a good sign you need to change it,” according to the game.
Password tips include choosing length vs. complexity, using a password manager, changing passwords regularly, using different passwords for bank accounts, e-mail and other sites, and using case-sensitive alphanumerics.
When creating a password, users should not use dates or facts available online, nor should they use e-mail addresses. They should never share passwords, create simple passwords or use one-word passwords.
“Security breaches large and small are becoming rampant across the world, so consumers need to be aware of just how important it is to use multiple strong passwords,” said Michelle Dennedy, chief privacy officer at McAfee, which is part of Intel Security. “Our goal this World Password Day is to educate consumers on ways they can proactively protect their identities, and other personal information and assets, through a series of simple steps.”