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10 Common Mistakes People Make with Passwords

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Don’t Make These Common Password Mistakes!

A password could be all that stands between you and identity theft. Yet, so many people make it way too easy for cybercriminals to guess their login credentials. Most people indeed use many passwords on lots of different apps and websites. However, even if it seems a chore, you must still be careful about the passwords you use.

You may think that your passwords are secure. However, one survey discovered that almost 58% of Americans had experienced a data breach of some kind. So, there is no question that cybersecurity should be taken seriously. So, are you making mistakes with your passwords that could lead to your online accounts being compromised? Read these ten common mistakes people make with passwords to find out.

1. Using Easy to Guess Passwords

Despite the use of easy passwords being discussed often, people still use some of the old favorites. Believe it or not, lots of people use “password,” and lots use “123456” too. Using your name is also a common password mistake that people make. If a hacker tries to gain access to one of your accounts, it is obvious passwords that they will try first.

2. Using the Same Password for Everything

If you do use strong passwords, they can be challenging to remember. So, to make life a little easier, many people use the same password on all their apps and website logins. But, while using the same password on everything makes your life more straightforward, it also helps the hackers. If your password is compromised on one website, the hacker gains access to every online account you use.

3. Not Using Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication requires you to use a password, followed by confirmation on email or by text. However, two-factor authentication is optional on many of the sites that have the feature. Some people avoid using this security feature because it adds one step to the login process. But, if you use two-factor authentication, it is much more difficult for anyone to hack your accounts.

4. Failing to Change Passwords Regularly

Many companies require their employees to change their passwords often. Still, few people remember to do it on their personal accounts. Changing passwords can be a nuisance. Even so, it is one of the simplest things you can do to thwart hackers. So, set yourself a reminder to change passwords regularly, especially on sensitive accounts like online banking.

5. Using Short Passwords

Many websites enforce the length of passwords for a good reason. The longer a password is, the harder it will be to crack. Long passwords may be harder to remember, but they are a lot more secure.

6. Not Using Special Characters

The most secure passwords have a mix of upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters like the exclamation mark. Using a combination of character types dramatically increases the number of possible combinations. The more types of characters you use, the more difficult it will be for hackers to find the right combination, even with password hacking software.

7. Using Kid’s or Pet’s Names

Some people use their children’s or pet’s names as passwords. Familiar names are easy to use, but they are easy to find as well. You will have likely mentioned your kids and pets on your social media accounts. So, the names of family members will be a relatively easy thing for hackers to find out.

8. Saving Passwords in Plain Sight

Do you have passwords saved on sticky notes on your desktop? If you do, you are not alone, and it is one of the first places a hacker will look. Some people make it even easier for hackers by labeling passwords with the site they are used for and the user ID. If you want somewhere to store all your passwords, it would be best to use a password manager app.

9. Sharing Passwords with Other People

More than 43% of respondents to a survey said that they had shared a password with someone another person. The person you shared your password with might be a family member or a trusted friend. But did that individual write the password down on a piece of paper that they may have left lying around? And, if they were careless with your password, on what other sites have you used the same, now not so secret, password?

10. Password Tweaking

Our final passport mistake that many people make is tweaking an existing password instead of completely changing it. Adding “99” to the end of a password does not make it unique, and hackers know that little trick too.

Conclusion

The safest way to generate and store unique passwords is to use a password manager app. However, if you do not want to use password management software, it would be advisable to avoid the above common password mistakes.

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Header image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

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