We’ve all heard it before: make your passwords strong and safe. However, frequent password errors continue to be made, leaving users’ accounts open to hackers. Understanding those errors and how to avoid them is crucial. We’ll examine some of these mistakes in this article.
Common Password Mistakes
Sharing Passwords with Others
While sharing a password with a trusted friend or family member may seem harmless, it can put your personal and sensitive information at risk. When you share your password with someone else, you give them access to all your accounts. This means they can read your emails, see your bank statements, and even make purchases using your credit card. According to an ExpressVPN survey, it was revealed that more than three-quarters of couples across America, France, Germany and Britain admit to sharing passwords with their romantic partners.
In addition, the survey was able to determine that there were cultural differences among the participants. For example, while Americans, Brits, and Germans primarily share passwords to save money (among other reasons), French couples exchange passwords to demonstrate transparency in their relationships.
Using Weak Passwords
A password is considered weak when it is straightforward to guess or crack using easy techniques. Cybercriminals may gain access to your accounts and personal information if you use weak passwords. It makes it simple for them to access your account, where they can then use them maliciously. The words “123456” and “love” are two examples of bad passwords.
An easy way to avoid this is to use the Google-suggested passwords that appear on your screen when opening a new account and automatically save them to your Google account.
Many people use the same password for multiple accounts, meaning if a hacker gains access to one account, they can use that password to access all other accounts belonging to that individual, which can lead to serious consequences. This is because if a criminal gains access to one of your accounts, he can try to use the same login details to gain access to your other accounts.
According to UCDAVIS’s description of password reuse and how it can be a security problem, “The more a password is reused, the more opportunities there are for that password to be compromised or stolen”.
How to Avoid Common Password Mistakes
Use Strong Passwords
Long and complicated passwords are indicators of a strong password. It may not always make use of recognizable patterns, like dictionary terms or sequential integers. However, it consists of a combination of capital and lowercase letters, numerals, and special characters.
As an illustration, suppose you wish to make a secure password for your online banking account. You can design a strong password like “B@nk1ng#” instead of choosing a straightforward password like “123456.” It would be far more difficult for attackers to breach.
Use a Password Manager
One of the best ways to create and manage strong passwords is to use a password manager. It is a software application that securely stores all your usernames and passwords in an encrypted database.
It helps you create and manage strong and unique passwords for each of your accounts, making it much harder for hackers to access your sensitive information. It also auto-fills your login information, so you don’t have to remember all your passwords.
Enable two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication is used in addition to your passwords to add an extra layer of security to your accounts. It requires you to enter a code, which is either sent to your phone or generated manually. This ensures that even someone with your password can’t access your account without the additional code.
HubSpot explained in an article on how to make your account safer with two-factor authentication, that “it uses two methods to ensure you’re the correct user. It combines something you know (a password) with something you have (a mobile phone) or something you are (facial recognition)”.
Protecting your personal information online is more important now than ever before. The first line of defense is to create strong and unique passwords. By following the tips mentioned in this article, you can strengthen your passwords and ensure