This World Password Day learn how you can be the strongest link in security

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How many of you remember your best friend’s birthday, your wedding anniversary or your net banking passwords? Need to refer to your notes? No wonder, 1 in 4 people are willing to give up pampering (manicures, pedicures, massages, etc.) if they never had to remember a password again. With a strong device explosion and internet penetration, Indian users have become a prized target for cybercriminals worldwide. Ten years ago, enterprises typically saw 25 new threats per day, today we see more than 500,000 threats daily. Now consider that according to a global survey conducted by McAfee Labs,1 in 2 surveyed, own between one and four devices that are not protected by either a password or some form of biometric authentication.

While technology does play an important role in securing your private and critical data, the increased reliance on the same may make humans the weakest link in the security chain. With a certain level of awareness and making security the responsibility of everyone, humans can also become the strongest link in security. This World Password Day, let’s go a step further than creating a strong and unique password. It’s imperative to educate and spread security awareness with the following measures:

1. Twice The Security

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Two-factor authentication is a more secure and reliable method of verification. In addition to your password/username combo, you’re asked to verify who you are with something that you – and only you — own, such as a mobile phone. Put simply: it uses two factors to confirm it’s you. Eg: An OTP (One Time Password), Date of Birth etc.

2. Putting Your Best Finger Forward

We have entered an era where our own human bodies can be used to verify our identities. While it’s certainly convenient, biometric security may not replace all of our passwords. But it will serve as another layer of security when authenticating into devices, confirming that we are who we say we are. As per a global survey conducted by McAfee Labs, 35% of respondents think fingerprint authentication is the most trusted single factor to unlock devices.

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3. Think Before You Click

The most common phishing attacks can start with one simple email relying on social engineering. The email usually asks for confirmation of login, password or credit card information and will direct users to a webpage that mirrors the company’s real website. Ensure that you provide personal or financial information only after you verify legitimacy of the website.

4. The Morning After A Data Breach

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Consumers can’t be solely held responsible for security. Even if you have the best of unique passwords, there are high chances that any service provider can be hacked. In a day and age where cybercrime is an industry, such an event is highly probable. Upon such a discovery, resetting passwords is critical. Follow regular news to stay in touch with the latest industry updates and news on security breaches.

5. Blind Faith In Unsecured Networks

In addition to these measures, you also need to ensure that you are always connected to a secure network. According to McAfee’s global study, ‘Digital Detox: Unplugging on Vacation’, over one-third Indians (highest compared to 13 countries) shared their personal data even when they realize that this will make them vulnerable. Remembered that hotel Wi-Fi you connected to-?

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Strong password practices are key to securing your digital life. Adding in additional security layers and following a good password hygiene, especially on your mobile device, could be the key to keeping your private life private and data confidential. This World Password day, let’s protect all those things that’s hidden behind one thing: a password.

(The article is authored by Anand Ramamoorthy, Managing Director, India & SAARC, McAfee)


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