World Password Day 2024: From Ancient Rome to Remote Work, How password security evolved through the ages

The fight to keep information confidential is nothing new. Even the Roman Empire, millennia ago, used a clever system to distinguish friend from foe. Each day, they changed their Watchwords and passed them along on wooden tablets. This is an early example of how crucial data security has always been.

Fast-forward to the 1960s, with the invention of time-sharing computers. To keep each user's files separate, computer passwords were born. This innovation, created by Fernando Corbato, paved the way for the digital password era—and the need for password managers.

However, convenience comes with a price: password security. Hackers have plenty of ways to steal passwords and break into online accounts. Here are a few of the techniques they use:

  1. Brute force attacks: Even though brute force attacks are simple in concept, they can be very effective, especially for passwords that are weak or easy to guess. Hackers use automated programs to try different combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols systematically, hoping to crack your password. These programs can work through entire dictionaries of words, making them a serious threat to anyone with weak passwords.
  2. Social engineering attacks: Social engineering attacks, such as phishing, manipulate human emotions in order to steal personal or business data.They create a false sense of security with seemingly legitimate websites, convincing you to give away login credentials.
  3. Credential stuffing attacks: Credential stuffing attacks exploit stolen login credentials acquired by cybercriminals, either through their own hacking efforts or by purchasing them on the dark web. With access to one of your passwords, these malicious actors attempt to gain entry into your other accounts. If you use the same password across multiple online platforms, you're particularly vulnerable to such attacks. That's why you should never reuse your passwords, especially a master password for your password manager.
  4. Keylogger attacks: Keylogger attacks happen when a hacker installs spyware on your device to record every keystroke you type. This allows them to collect your passwords, achieving unauthorized access to one or more of your accounts. That's why it's better to avoid using public or open WiFi networks.
  5. Shoulder surfing attacks: Shoulder surfing attacks happen when someone nearby watches your screen as you enter your login details for online accounts (like in coffee shops or at ATMs). If a skilled criminal sees your password as you type it in, they could access your account without you knowing.

Tips to prevent password breaches 

By following good password habits, you can carry on this legacy. Here are four simple steps you can take to observe World Password Day.

  1. Use a secure browser: Ensure that you’re using a secure browser when accessing the internet to safeguard your sensitive information from cybercriminals.
  2. Adopt passwordless authentication: Start using passwordless single sign-on powered by identity and access management solutions for logging into your business applications.
  3. Switch to a password manager: Keep your passwords safe and accessible by using a password vault. It lets you securely store and share passwords, autofill logins, and generate new strong passwords.
  4. Enforce MFA: Strengthen the security of important accounts by adding an extra layer of protection with multi-factor authentication.

Celebrate World Password Day with Zoho Vault 

Every year, on World Password Day, we're reminded of just how crucial passwords are in safeguarding our countless accounts and personal information. That's where Zoho Vault steps in, offering intuitive password generation with an encrypted vault for storing and sharing passwords while thwarting hackers from compromising your credentials.

Here are a few key areas where Zoho Vault can help:

  1. Password generator: With Zoho Vault's built-in password generator, effortlessly generate strong, random passwords for your accounts. Safely generate, store, and auto-fill them to ensure the utmost security.
  2. Password policy: Take control of password security with Zoho Vault's comprehensive password policy enforcement. IT admins can enforce password policies to ensure that employees adhere to stringent security measures.
  3. Password policy compliance report: Zoho Vault's password policy compliance report provides a detailed breakdown of the password policies enforced within your organization. It breaks down enterprise passwords according to the respective policies in place and shows you if each one meets the requirements.
  4. Data breach alerts: Be proactive in defending against potential breaches with Zoho Vault's real-time monitoring. Receive instant alerts in the event of a breach, allowing you to take swift action to protect your accounts and data.
  5. Security dashboard: Gain full visibility and control over your digital security with Zoho Vault's security dashboard. Identify weak passwords, track compromised accounts, and take decisive actions—all from a single, convenient interface.

Get started with Zoho Vault 

It's World Password Day! Time to say goodbye to those outdated passwords and level up your security game with Zoho Vault!  Start your 14-day free trial today or reach out to our onboarding experts to kickstart your journey! Let's make your digital life safer together!


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