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ThuMay 2

World Password Day – May 2, 2024

Still using your cat’s name followed by an “&” for your 401(k) account password? Sorry, but that’s just not enough to protect your life savings in 2019. Here’s a term you need to know on World Password Day: #LayerUp.

This refers to adding strong authentication to your important passwords to prevent identity theft and other cybercrimes.

Intel created World Password Day — the first Thursday of May (May 2) — to address the critical need for solid passwords. It’s simple, really. Most operating systems offer an easy way to create and store passwords. Apple’s “Keychain Access” is one example. You can also go online to generate passwords which are practically hacker-proof.

In other words, “e9UBct*35TwhT&p/’e{:y}” is the new “MisterWhiskers.”

Read more about this on our National Computer Security Day page.

When is World Password Day 2024?

Strengthen your passwords to keep your data safe on World Password Day, which takes place on the first Thursday in May — May 2 this year.

History of World Password Day

Secret Organizations, like the Masons and other fraternal organizations, also often asked for passwords before letting you through the door.

World Password Day creates awareness about the importance of strong passwords, and why everyone should change their passwords once every few weeks. One compromised password can put our digital identities and personal information at risk. 

Strong and secure passwords are crucial, especially now that most of our work is done online. It is better to have complex and unique passwords, which are not easy to guess. It happens to the best of us; as much as we try to convince ourselves that no one will be able to guess our passwords, professional hackers can guess them in seconds! Even if a strong password is in place, it should be changed once every few weeks, or even months. This way, even if your passwords are leaked in a data breach, a new, stronger password can avert access to your personal information.

Sadly, despite knowing the risks, not many people are habitual about frequently changing their passwords. Take World Password Day as your cue to immediately change the passwords of your emails, social media accounts, and most importantly, accounts storing your personal information. 

In 2005, Security Researcher Mark Burnett suggested that everyone should have their own “password days” when they change their passwords. He outlined this idea in his book “Perfect Passwords,” which inspired the company Intel to create a worldwide observance. The first Thursday in May was declared World Password Day and it was observed for the first time in 2013. 

World Password Day timeline

First Usage

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) creates the computer password so that multiple people can use a shared computer system.

Enciphered User Passwords

Public-key cryptography is created so two people can authenticate each other without exchanging a cryptographic key.

Weak Passwords

A study done by Morris and Thompson demonstrates that guessing passwords through personal information is easier than deciphering passwords.

Two-Factor Authentication

Two-Factor Authentication emerges and is adopted.

By The Numbers

99.9% — the percentage of threats to passwords that can be stopped using multi-factor authentication, according to Microsoft. 

2020 — the year when the top type of information stolen around the world was credentials.

60% — the percentage of data breaches that involve credentials. 

40% — the percentage of people in a 2020 study who said that their company data was compromised because of a weak or cracked password. 

20 — the number of common categories into which the majority of passwords fit into. 

40% — the percentage of organizations that rely on sticky notes for remembering passwords.

82% — the percentage of workers who admitted recycling the same passwords. 

60% — the percentage of recycled passwords that appeared in multiple data leaks in 2020 

25% — the percentage of data breaches, which were as a result of credential stuffing in 2020. 

¾ — the number of employees who use the same passwords for their work accounts as they do for their personal accounts. 

World Password Day FAQs

What day is World Password Day 2022?

World Password Day is observed on May 5 in 2022.

Who started World Password Day?

Tech giant Intel created World Password Day to create awareness about the importance of stronger passwords. 

What is a weak password?

Any password that is easy to guess or can be figured out using information such as names of family members, pets, and street names, is considered a weak password. 

How to Observe World Password Day

  1. Take the #LayerUp pledge

    You need a card and PIN number to get money out of the ATM — so wouldn't you want the same level of security for your online accounts? Learn about stronger authentication!

  2. Host a password party

    Friends don't let friends have lame passwords. Why not make a party of it? You can figure out password managers and the ins and outs of multi-factor authentication together.

  3. Alert your friends

    Let others know what goes into making a strong password. Share a stat about hacking and identity theft. Get people's attention; you may just save them a lot of headache (if not their bank accounts).

5 Of The Most Common Passwords And How Long It Takes To Crack Them!

  1. 123456

    Less than one second to crack, with 3.5 million uses counted in a study.

  2. Password

    Less than one second to crack, with 1.7 million uses counted in a study.

  3. abc123

    Less than one second to crack, with 610,000 uses counted in a study.

  4. qwerty

    Less than one second to crack, 382,000 uses counted in a study.

  5. 11111

    Less than one second to crack, with 369,000 uses counted in a study.

Why World Password Day is Important

  1. More important than ever

    So much of our information lives on the internet. Just think about your online banking accounts, bill payment sites, shopping sites, and the list goes on. Make sure the passwords are solid and diversified!

  2. Easy to fix

    You've heard about password managers and multi-factor authentication. Today is a great day to sit down and educate yourself. And with the new technology options out there, you can 'set it and forget it' for the future.

  3. Lots of help out there

    The days of writing passwords on stickies are long gone. There are a number of low-cost and free password managers that will still leave you plenty of time for all that online shopping.

    Organizations from the tech industry can use Influencer Marketing campaigns to spread awareness around having strong passwords.

World Password Day dates

2022May 5Thursday
2023May 4Thursday
2024May 2Thursday
2025May 1Thursday
2026May 7Thursday
2027May 6Thursday

Let’s get social

Here are some special hashtags for the day.

#WorldPasswordDay #PasswordDay #StrongPassword #WeakPassword #ChangeYourPassword

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