Avoid These 5 Common Password Mistakes that can Compromise Your Security
A recent survey conducted by the digital security & password manager site LastPass.com found that around two third of Americans reuse the same password across multiple sites.
Afterall, who wants to remember 15 unique passwords for 15 different accounts?
But do you know that what seems convenient now can backfire on you big time?
“If you’re not using distinct passwords for your key accounts – banking, email, and social networks – a cyber criminal who gets one of them has access to all of them,” says Michael Kaiser, executive director of the non-profit National Cyber Security Alliance.
Have a look at five common password mistakes that can compromise your security.
Using short & simple password
Every year, SplashData, the security company, collects passwords from American as well as European data breaches in order to check which codes are the most common. For 5 consecutive years, the code “123456” topped the list.
According to Kaiser, Sophisticated hackers have automated hacking programs that try this type of common passwords in order to crack into your accounts.
It is true that short and simple passwords are easy to remember, but unfortunately they can be easily guessed by cyber criminals. Don’t forget, the longer your password is, the more difficult it is for hackers to crack it. Think twelve characters at a minimum.
Also make sure that your password contains characters from at least two of the following four categories: lower case letters, upper case letters, number & symbol.
Including personal information in passwords
Never ever make the mistake of using names of your family members, relatives, pet, celebrities or any other very common terms in your password. Using personal details in passwords is very dangerous and can make you vulnerable to hacking.
If you think that invoking personal information like your high school mascot or the name of a loved one is difficult to guess, you are absolutely wrong. Social networks make it easy for crooks to get that information.
Also don’t think that adding a string of characters to a very common name like peter321 is a good idea. Password cracking software can easily crack that.
Using the same password across multiple sites
Although it is true that using the same password everywhere is easy to remember, this is the fastest & easiest route to disaster. If a successful phishing attack captures that particular password, the criminal will have the keys to the kingdom. Hence try using different as well as secure passwords everywhere, particularly where your financial information could be compromised.
Storing passwords somewhere on the device
If you have created a note with all your passwords or worse, you have emailed those passwords to yourself in order to remember them, you have done a blunder.
“Anything you put in an email or on your device is vulnerable,” Kaiser says.
Sharing passwords with other people
Remember, your passwords are only and only for you. After all, only you will be responsible for any activity that is conducted under your username. Even if you have the strongest and the most unique password in the world, but you have shared it with someone, it won’t make any difference.
It is always better to be safe than sorry. Hence, always avoid the above listed common password mistakes that can compromise your security. Also, don’t forget to change your passwords in every few months.