Microsoft, Intel, Samsung and other companies celebrate World Password Day

Microsoft is joining with a number of other big technology companies such as Intel, Samsung, Acer, Toshiba to support and celebrate the 2014 edition of World Password Day. The idea is to help educate people about the importance of creating strong passwords for their various Internet accounts.

As we have reported before, the most used password in 2013 was "123456". Obviously, that can be quickly cracked by hackers. The organizers of World Password Day state that 90 percent of all passwords that are in use are vulnerable to hacking. It also claims that one out of five Internet users have had either an email or social networking account taken over by hackers.

Even a complex eight character password can be hacked in just 5.5 hours, according to the companies behind World Password Day. They recommend length over complexity, using a phrase like "thunder showers at sunset". Of course, people can also change their passwords regularly to make them less vulnerable. The group's official website has a number of tools to help educate people about creating strong passwords. Last year's World Password Day got folks around the world to change one million of their passwords.

Source: World Password Day | Image via World Password Day

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Yay world password day, stop forcing me to have "difficult" passwords with capitals, numbers and whatever.

It does not really help making people's passwords more secure, most hacks are not by hackers or bots but family/relatives/friends/enemies. Adding a capital to the first letter and an exclamation mark to the end are typical ways people use to make their passwords fit requirements.
Oh if that does not work, replace e's with 3s a's with 4's and i's with 1's....

I don't mind I have a dozen versions of my basic password, but its annoying and does not improve security even the slightest.

That depends. Having at least 1 of each character increases the search space significantly, but the length is absolutely critical.

Hacking databases or bruteforcing websites/services to get my password are not much of a concern. One of my basic passwords is just 8 letters, one word. nothing special. Have been using it for almost a decade now and never had any issues with it.

People are overrating the time hackers spend in bruteforcing your password.

People are still so clueless about password. One older woman said her password for her ISP email was "Internet"

I was helping a business setup their their email on their new computers. Their ISP email account password was 1234 ... i'm not even joking.

One customers high school kids email Facebook account was hacked. I told them to change their password. Then asked them what his old password was.... they said "football" *face palm*

Then you have the local DSL provider "Frontiernet" who secures ALL of their customers Wifi with their phone number. I assume they do this because people are facking stupid, and forget their password 5 mins later, so this way frontier support knows everyone wifi password. But still. Soo stupid.

I mean if you know who's wifi it is and you can look up their phone number and get right in. One day I was in subway inside walmart, and I saw they had Wifi and assuming they had frontier, I looked up their phone number, typed it in and got right onto their network.

Same for the local bars in town too.

Edited by warwagon, May 7 2014, 4:07pm :

The length of the password is arguably more important than the complexity.

Take the following 4 passwords (I don't use these before anyone tries to be funny lol)
"easypasswords"
"P455w@rd"
"%passw0rd1"
"longpasswordexample"

Which would you select? More importantly, which of the passwords have the general public been conditioned into thinking are the most secure?

I'd imagine people probably think the 2nd and 3rd passwords are the ones to go for. Have letters, numbers and other characters. Aren't actually english phrases. The 2nd one even has an uppercase letter. Got to be the best right?

Nope. The 1st one is better than either 2nd or 3rd. The last one is actually best simply due to the long length. The 2nd password is actually the worst. The problem is by making passwords more "complex" people tend to use shorter versions because they still want them to be somewhat memorable.

Basically if the password is 12 or more characters (any characters) you should be pretty good. Taking a phrase and hyphenating it is probably the easiest way to make it bulletproof and instantly memorable. Eg "cool-story-bro"

Edited by Sandor, May 7 2014, 4:22pm :

I love to have passwords to allow complete sentences, with special characters.
Typing in a complete sentence would be easy to remember, but ridiculously complex.

What bugs me is that many sites do not support spaces in passwords. For some reason I always found it easier to remember long passwords if I can use spaces.