We’ve known for some time that Microsoft has been pushing for a world without passwords, but since May 5 was World Password Day, the company took the opportunity to remind people how much safer it is. to use other authentication methods.
Microsoft says we need to ditch passwords forever to stay safe online, as 921 password attacks take place every second worldwide and doubled from 463 in 2019. The giant American tech says passwords are a real pain because they’re hard to remember and cybercriminals can keep track of them easily, all thanks to the latest software that can be used in brute force attacks and in the infiltration of passwords managers with ease.
In a recently published lengthy post, Microsoft highlights several ways to protect your accounts and data, including Windows Hello, which comes with some Windows devices. Additionally, Microsoft tells users to install Microsoft Authenticator and, if they really need to use a password, to make sure it’s impossible to break.
“ Rather than keeping attackers out, weak passwords often provide a way in. Using and reusing simple passwords across different accounts can make our lives online easier, but it also leaves the door open ,” says Vasu Jakkal, corporate vice president, security, compliance, identity and management.
“ Attackers routinely scour social media for birthdates, vacation spots, pet names and other personal information they know people use to create easy-to-remember passwords. . A recent study found that 68% of people use the same password for different accounts. For example, once the combination of a password and an email address has been compromised, it is often sold on the dark web for use in further attacks .
A Few Password Rules
Passwords should be 12 to 18 characters long, Jakkal explains, and use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. It must not be a word found in a dictionary and must be completely different from other passwords. This is why using a password manager is totally recommended.
Finally, it’s important to change your password once or twice a month and change it immediately if you feel something is wrong with the account and you think it’s been compromised — for example, if you read or hear about online account data breaches.
But in the end, going without a password is the right thing to do, says Microsoft. “ In a historic collaboration, the FIDO Alliance, Microsoft, Apple and Google have announced plans to expand support for a common passwordless sign-in standard. Commonly referred to as “passkeys,” these cross-device FIDO credentials provide users with a platform-friendly way to quickly and securely log in to any of their devices without a password. Virtually impossible to phish and available on all your devices, a passkey allows you to log in by simply authenticating yourself with your face, fingerprint or device PIN,” says Jakkal.