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Strong password management is essential for crypto investments

In addition to “something you know” (your secret password) your account is secured by “something you have”.

A man uses a laptop at a coffee shop in downtown Hanoi. - AFP
A man uses a laptop at a coffee shop in downtown Hanoi. - AFP

World Password Day has a core focus of providing tips for the billions of digital media users worldwide on protecting and recovering passwords. Where lots of money is at stake, as with cryptocurrency transactions, having an effective password is particularly important given the economic loss stakes.

More sophisticated approaches for data security are needed to support passwords. Both users and businesses Enterprises are looking for advanced authentication that is continuous and behavioral based, providing users a frictionless experience while enabling a stronger security posture.

of new forms of financial transactions, a number of recommendations have been developed by Chris Brooks, founder of Brooks has outlined these to Digital Journal:

  1. The point of World Password Day is to remind people to change their passwords. Think of a password like the oil in your car — if you don’t change it every three months, it becomes less effective — and failing to change it can destroy your engine. Passwords only work because they are secrets — but in 2021 more than 16 million accounts were known to have been breached every day.

Brooks adds: “It’s extremely likely that some of your passwords are already known to hackers, and they’re learning more of them every day. Keep your digital life tuned, and change those passwords!”

  • People often think that adding symbols to a password makes it more secure. Given the firepower that hackers have at their disposal today, that isn’t necessarily true. Short complex passwords can be cracked in fractions of seconds. Complexity + Length is what makes passwords secure.
  • The greatest threat to your passwords is password reuse. Once you’ve used a password once, you shouldn’t ever use it again. That’s because once a password gets cracked, hackers add it to their lists of known passwords — and they can then check the cracked password plus similar variants extremely quickly.
  • Most digital services allow you to improve the security of your accounts by adding a second factor of authentication (also known as 2FA). This second factor is usually tied to something physical. So, in addition to “something you know” (your secret password) your account is secured by “something you have”. This can dramatically improve the security of your accounts — because hackers can’t get remote access to your accounts simply by cracking your password, they have to have physical access to the second factor.

The problem is that companies are often trying to balance security and convenience — that is, they allow you to reset your password if you can prove that you have the second factor of authentication. This is often a bad idea, especially if you’re relying on an SMS message sent to your cell phone as your 2FA. The solution? Use an app on your phone for 2FA like Google Authenticator or Authy.

  • Since January 1st 2022, nearly a dozen people have contacted explaining that a loved one had passed away without leaving a thorough record of where their crypto is stored. While we’ve helped some of these folks recover funds, it’s often very difficult to track them down. If you own crypto, World Password Day is a great time to pull together a list of all your accounts and wallets, make sure that your passwords and/or recovery phrases work, and make sure that you’ve left instructions for how your loved ones can access your crypto in the event of your untimely death.
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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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