Account and device passwords are the first line of defence in the fight against malicious actors and passwords should be strong, memorable and unique, says one stakeholder
On International Computer Security Day, the Australian Digital Health Agency is advising people to follow these good password practices:
- Don’t share your password with others as you could be held responsible for their actions, which could result in disclosure of sensitive information.
- Always use a unique password for each account to help prevent the ‘domino effect’. This is where all accounts using the same password are compromised, when the password is discovered.
- Consider using a password manager if you have trouble remembering your passwords, but make sure you use a very strong master password.
- If you suspect someone knows your password, choose a new password immediately to reduce the likelihood of unauthorised access to information.
- A strong password is long, for example 14 characters or more, and includes a combination of upper and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters.
Agency CEO Amanda Cattermole said, “Developing and using good passwords is a contemporary life skill everyone can adopt to protect themselves at home and at work”.
“Having weak passwords is comparable to leaving your front door open when you leave home or leaving your car unlocked. It’s an invitation to unauthorised access and cyber compromise.
“Take some time on International Computer Security Day to read the Agency’s password fact sheet ‘Your password – the key to all your information’, which includes tips on how to create strong passwords and outlines good password practices.
“It also provides information regarding the use of password managers and highlights the importance of using multi-factor authentication whenever it’s available to provide added protection to your accounts and information.
“If you suspect someone knows your password, choose a new password immediately to reduce the likelihood of unauthorised access to information.”
Ms Cattermole noted a report that found while 80% of people say they are concerned about the security of their personal information, 81% of confirmed data breaches involve weak, default or stolen passwords.