More than a quarter of us have used the words "password" or "qwerty" as our primary password at some point in our lives, according to Google. Even more alarming, six in 10 of us admit to using the same password across multiple online accounts, from email to online banking, and only a third of us bother to change passwords more than once a year. That's why World Password Day was created. In 2005, security expert Mark Burnett wrote a book called Perfect Passwords, in which he floated the idea of dedicating one day in the calendar each year when everybody should change their passwords.
By 2013, the idea had really caught on and Intel ran with it, making the first Thursday in May the official World Password Day. In 2021, World Password Day falls on May 6, but is it still relevant in its current form?
From phishing scams to distributed denial-of-service attacks, malware to spyware, the security landscape is a lot more complex than it was back in 2005, or even 2013. Most individuals today have so many different online accounts that to devise and remember a unique and complex password for each one is near impossible. It's why so many of us now rely on authenticator apps and digital "vaults" in which to store our passwords, allowing us to simply remember one to unlock them all. This kind of innovation is good; however, it also leads to a creeping realization that the humble password may no longer be fit for purpose. So, what's next?