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Password Reuse: Convenient, But Dangerous

by Emma Wilson

4.88 billion people from around the world use the internet on a regular basis. This might be for work, online banking, shopping, or streaming entertainment services. Every single one of these activities involves logging into a private account and for this, you’ll need a password! 

Unfortunately, having a big online presence comes at a risk. Online accounts have become prime targets for hackers looking to steal data and financial information. In fact, in the USA alone there are around 80,000 cyberattacks per day.

While hacking software plays a big role in these attacks so do weak passwords and bad password use. This includes reusing the same password on multiple accounts. So why is password reuse such an issue?

Read on to find out exactly why password reuse could be putting your online security at unnecessary risk.

Password Reuse Could Compromise Multiple Accounts 

Setting a great password can help to prevent hackers from getting into your online account. In particular, this can slow down software that helps to crack password combinations. 

However, no password is completely foolproof. Given time, hacking software will eventually be able to crack the combination on most standard passwords.

Once cyber attackers have cracked one of your passwords they are sure to try it on your other accounts. This will quickly become an issue if you have reused your password. Suddenly you’ll find multiple accounts compromised in one quick move!

Widespread Consequences for Phishing Attacks 

Repeating passwords is also poor practice when it comes to protecting yourself against phishing attacks.

These attacks often come in the form of fraudulent emails or other communications. They are usually disguised as coming from a reputable source to trick people into sharing sensitive information.

The most successful phishing attacks work by collecting information about you in advance. This helps them to more accurately deceive you.

If you continually reuse your passwords then clever online phishers could use this information to get more security information about you. They only need to know a few digits of a weak password to email saying that “password: a**j**2” (for example) has been compromised. 

This can help them to make their emails look even more legitimate while in reality they are collecting more data to weaken your online security.

Serious Issues for Corporate Data

If you run a business or work for one then your password doesn’t just protect your personal data. It also allows access to large numbers of customer data. Because of this, a data breach can have serious consequences.

These sort of breaches are much easier if you reuse passwords, especially between colleagues. If an old employee leaves their role then the person replacing them should always receive a brand new password.

Corporate data losses can cost companies thousands of dollars to recover from and seriously damage their reputation. If you run a smaller business then your company may not recover from a significant data breach. 

Varying your passwords throughout the company will help to protect your business. However, there are some other things you can do to strengthen your password security. Let’s take a look at some of these.

Tips for Improving Your Password Security

There are plenty of things you can do to strengthen your passwords easily.

While using a memorable place or person’s name can help you recall your password, this also makes it easier for hackers to figure it out. Instead, try to go a random word or phrase. Then break this up using numbers or punctuation. 

A lot of hacking software looking for words that you can find in a dictionary first so whole words and phrases are easier to crack. In comparison, nonsense phrases and collections of randoms letters and numbers take much longer. This is also why long passwords tend to be stronger than short ones.

As well as creating different passwords for each account, you should change them regularly where possible. If someone has previously hacked your account, this will prevent them from doing it again in the future. 

Get Help Remembering Your Passwords

Changing your passwords and varying them comes with one obvious challenge: trying to remember which password works for each of your accounts! The last thing you want is to keep forgetting your passwords and getting locked out.

Fortunately, password management sites offer a better solution than simply keeping a note of these in your diary or on your phone. After all, if you lose this list of passwords then whoever finds it has access to all of your personal information! 

Password management sites offer a secure portal that stores all of your passwords in one safe place. They also encrypt the data that you put in so only you and your account security can read your login details. This means that you only need to remember your password to the management app and it will take care of the rest!

Management apps connect to Apple and Android devices and offer the option to autofill the passwords that you want. So you can keep all of your account secure without losing track of a single password.

Eliminate Risks From Password Reuse Today

As you can see, password reuse makes it easier for online hackers and malware users to damage your IT accounts and systems quickly. So using different passwords on each of your accounts will make a big difference to your online security. 

That said, keeping track of multiple different passwords can be difficult. Fortunately, password management software makes keeping your accounts secure with different passwords easier than ever before.

Find out more about how Log Me Once can help you manage your passwords easily and improve your online security today.