26 September 2023

Passwords pass words for online protection

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South Australians are being reminded to adopt good password practices, following the celebration of World Password Day last week (5 May).

In a statement, South Australia Police’s (SAPOL) Neighbourhood Watch SA (NHW) said passwords provided the first line of defence against unauthorised access to your devices and personal information.

“The stronger your password, the more protected your device will be from hackers and malicious software,” NHW said.

“You should maintain strong passwords for all of your online accounts,” it said.

NHW said some of the best password tips and tricks included making passwords long, complex, and unique; use a password generator; use a passphrase; use multi-factor authentication (MFA); use a password manager; check accounts regularly; do not use the same password or passphrase in multiple places; and do not save your password in a browser, Excel spreadsheet, or text editor.

“Have long, complex, unique and well-managed passwords – meeting the minimum password requirements for a password is not enough,” it said.

“It is recommended at least 12 characters using a mix of capitals, numbers and symbols.”

NHW said a password generator could create passwords that were virtually impossible to crack, while a password manager removed any inconvenience without compromising security.

“A password manager also makes keeping unique logins simple, reducing the impact if you are compromised,” it said.

NHW said it recommended that people used a passphrase, which was simply a longer password.

“It can even be a sentence with spaces and punctuation,” it said.

“The benefit of passphrases is that typically they are easier to remember but more difficult to crack due to their length.”

The Organisation said MFA was an electronic authentication method that required two or more pieces of evidence (factors).

“This approach simply adds another layer to the authentication process,” NHW said.

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