It's 2018 And The World Still Sucks at Passwords

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But perhaps this World Password Day will inspire improvement.

As our lives are increasingly housed online, password security becomes more and more important. The World Password Day campaign hopes to encourage everyone to get serious about passwords. It's not just tech neophytes that are making password mistakes: Even people working in information technology commit a variety of password sins.

In honor of World Password Day, Sailpoint partnered with research company Vanson-Bourne to survey decision-makers in IT about their password habits. The results are somewhat surprising. 

The survey found that 55 percent of IT leaders have reused the same password throughout their work and personal life, violating the cardinal rule against password re-use. Almost a third of IT professionals surveyed have used a family member’s name in a password, and 28 percent have used a pet’s name. These are simple, predictable passwords that are easy for hackers to guess.

But perhaps the most egregious stat of all is that 10 percent of surveyed IT leaders are still using some of the most common password fails like “password” or “qwerty."

Those stats seem grim, but there are some easy fixes to these mistakes.

When choosing a password, try using a passphrase instead. This is what the National Institute of Standards and Technology recommends. Passphrases are longer, which makes them harder to hack, but they are also easier to remember than a random string of letter and numbers. Here is a perfect example: 

Randall Munroe, xkcd.com, CC 2.5

In addition to using a solid password, you should also layer your level of security by turning on two-factor authentication whenever possible. It might be a pain, but it's one of the best ways to keep accounts secure. Start with your email and bank accounts, which contain the most valuable and vulnerable information.

If you're having trouble managing lengthy passphrases and multiple layers of authentication, you might slide into bad password habits. If that's the case, consider using a password manager. There are multiple options such as LastPass and 1Password, but no matter which you choose, make sure that your password to your password manager is ironclad. Your whole online life depends on it.