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7 Password Mistakes to Avoid

by Emma Wilson

You know that it’s important to have a strong password. But do you know how to create one?

Many people make mistakes when creating a password and don’t realize the consequences until they are hacked. Read on to learn seven common password mistakes, so that you can avoid them.

1. Using Common Passwords

Is your password 123456? It’s time to change it because it’s one of the most vulnerable.

Despite security experts recommending strong, unique passwords along with 2FA and password managers for better protection, many people continue to use weak passwords. Some of the most common passwords include predictable combinations like 123456, qwerty123, and 1234567890.

UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) surveyed some passwords belonging to accounts that had been breached. The top three most used were “123456,” with 23.2 million accounts; “123456789” was used by 7.7 million people, and “qwerty” or “password” were both used by more than 3 million people.

Do your passwords follow the same patterns? Creating a strong, hard-to-guess password is the first step to keeping your information safe. Combine three random words that you can easily remember, and be creative so people cannot guess it.

2. Password Recycling

The use of reused passwords is one way people unknowingly put themselves at risk of cyberattacks. According to a recent study by Google, at least 52% of internet users reuse their passwords across multiple websites.

Don’t make this mistake! Using only one password is dangerous because all other accounts are in danger if you get hacked into any website. Hackers use a technique known as credential stuffing.

Credential stuffing works by taking information from previous data leaks and trying variations on different accounts. If an attacker already knows your logins for one account, they will try using those credentials on different sites.

3. Storing and Sharing Plain Text Passwords

A plain text password is when someone writes their passwords down on paper or types them without any encryption. This makes them readable by humans and machines.

The risk of storing and sharing your password in plaintext is that anyone who has (un)authorized access to your account or device can access it. If that person is a hacker, they will get all the data stored on the system.

It is important to be safe and smart about handling your passwords in today’s digital age. One way of ensuring this safety is by storing them in a password manager that offers encryption.

4. Sharing Passwords

43% of Americans admit they have shared their password with someone else in the past – including for streaming accounts and social media profiles.

Sharing passwords is dangerous because you are putting your data at risk. Even if the other person doesn’t have malicious intentions, it is still risky for you.

They might accidentally click on something they don’t know and give someone else access to your account. They could even allow a virus into the device with all of your information stored there.

While some may think that “sharing is caring” applies to many areas of life, this couldn’t be more untrue when it comes to passwords. Sharing a password for an online shopping account has the potential to give access that could cost you your credit card information.

5. Changing Password Too Often

Contrary to popular belief, changing your password regularly – without evidence of a password breach – doesn’t automatically make your account more secure. Research suggests people put little thought into changing their passwords when they are forced to do so frequently. Most of them reuse the same old passwords.

The same research also discovered that people prefer password transformations. For example, incrementing numbers and adding special characters like dollar symbols ($).

Once hackers are able to figure out one password, they can most likely predict the next with little effort.

6. Using Passwords Based on Personal Information

It’s not a good idea to use passwords based on personal information such as your dog’s name, the city you live in, or your date of birth. These details about yourself are all over the Internet. They can be used against you by hackers who want to access your private accounts for nefarious purposes.

Try creating passwords with numbers and letters that don’t give away clues to personal information. The more complicated the password is, the better chance of security.

Also, avoid the use of common words. Hackers have dictionary-based tools they use to crack these types of passwords. There are likely only a few hundred possible combinations for any dictionary word.

Create a sentence using acronyms and sprinkle in some numbers. It might feel clunky at first, but after a while, this will become second nature.

7. Allowing Browser to Save Password

Letting your web browser store passwords can be dangerous; it’s like asking a stranger to hold onto your keys.

Passwords are meant for one person only. When you let browsers share them with their servers, they could get hacked by someone who wants access to your private network data. The best way to keep your data safe is not allowing any browser to store your passwords.

Use LogMeOnce When Creating a Password

If your password is compromised, you could lose critical data. But with so much information being shared and accessed online, it can be hard to keep track of passwords for each site or service we use. Fortunately, there are solutions available, like LogMeOnce password manager.

This password manager goes beyond just creating a password. It offers other features such as encryption and anti-hacker protection.

To learn what more you can do with this password manager, sign up for free today.