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McAfee & Partners’ Passwordday.org: Create Super Passwords/Passphrases for Optimal Uncrackability

May 7th is World Password Day!

McAfee informs us that:

  •  90% of passwords are vulnerable to hacking;
  • the most common password is “123456”  and the second most common password, is “password”;
  • 1 in 5 Internet users have had their email or social networking account compromised or taken over without their permission; and
  • a password of eight characters, even with various symbols and no dictionary words, can be cracked.

Here are some of McAfee’s important tips to help you create super passwords/passphrases .

  •  Ditch your old passwords.
  • Think pass-sentence, not password.
    • A password the length of “Earthquake in the Sahara” would take over a million years to unearth.
      • Just four words (with spaces) will make a killer password.
      • Toss in punctuation.
    • Create a sentence that makes no sense, like “Sharks swimming in the shower” and then add some space, numbers and special characters so it’s “Sh@rks swimming >n The Sh0wer!”
      • That’s a 30-word password, technically known as a passphrase, and beats out #8xq3@2P.
      • And which is easier to remember?
    • And don’t use something that a person who knows you might be able to guess: If you own five black cats, don’t make a passphrase of “I love black cats.”

Celebrate World Password Day by “changing your passwords using a different passphrase for each account, and not similar, either, for optimal uncrackability!”

PRESS RELEASE

McAfee and Partners Launch Passwordday.org to Help Consumers Protect Personal Information Online

As part of World Password Day, new website provides simple steps to proactively strengthen passwords

MARKHAM, ON, May 7, 2014 – In observance of the annual World Password Day on May 7th, McAfee, part of Intel Security, and its partners are leading an effort to help educate consumers worldwide on the importance of password safety in the wake of the multiple global security breaches. Consumers are encouraged to take the World Password Day pledge to change or strengthen their passwords by using the newly launched http://www.passwordday.org, a dedicated destination for password education, powered by Intel Security.

Ninety (90) per cent of all passwords are vulnerable to being hacked.1 In the wake of recent high-profile data breaches, it is important now more than ever for consumers to be vigilant about strengthening and changing their passwords to protect their personal information. Last year, more than 170 organizations supported World Password Day by sharing password safety messages. More than one million passwords were assessed and 32,000 people took the pledge to strengthen their passwords. This year, McAfee, along with Dell, Acer, Lenovo, Toshiba, Terra, UOL, CCE, Windstream, Positivo Informática’s Digital Business Area and others, are encouraging consumers once again to take the time to educate themselves about password safety and be more proactive about securing their personal information.

To accompany World Password Day, consumers can now visit Passwordday.org to learn more about password safety. The site includes features such as a password blaster Web video game, password strength metre, McAfee’s Heartbleed bug checker tool, animated educational slideshow, tips and tricks for upgrading passwords, and the Official World Password Day pledge.

“Security breaches large and small are becoming rampant across the world, so consumers need to be aware of just how important it is to use multiple strong passwords,” said Michelle Dennedy, chief privacy officer at McAfee, part of Intel Security. “Our goal this World Password Day is to educate consumers on ways they can proactively protect their identities, and other personal information and assets, through a series of simple steps.”

Simple tips for password protection:

● Choose length vs. complexity (use 14+ characters)
● Use a password manager
● Change passwords regularly
● Use different passwords for bank, email and other sites
● Use case-sensitive alphanumerics
● Don’t use any dates or facts that can be found online
● Don’t text, email or casually share your passwords
● Don’t use simple passwords (123456, password, qwerty, etc.)
● Don’t use one-word passwords

To learn more about World Password Day, visit http://blogs.mcafee.com/consumer/world-password-day. Follow and join in the World Password Day conversation online with #passwordday. There will be a tweet chat on May 7, 2014 at 12pm ET on the importance of passwords. Use #ChatSTC to join in on the conversation.

1Source: Deloitte, TMT Technology Predictions 2013, January 2013

About McAfee
McAfee, part of Intel Security and a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC), empowers businesses, the public sector, and home users to safely experience the benefits of the Internet. The company delivers proactive and proven security solutions and services for systems, networks, and mobile devices around the world. With its visionary Security Connected strategy, innovative approach to hardware-enhanced security, and unique global threat intelligence network, McAfee is relentlessly focused on keeping its customers safe.
http://www.mcafee.com

McAfee Canada is headquartered in Markham, Ontario, with regional offices across Canada. The company’s Consumer Software Research and Development facility is based in Waterloo, Ontario.

Note: McAfee is a registered trademark of McAfee, Inc. in the United States and other countries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

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